There is a clear distinction between the Brandon Staley defense and the Raheem Morris defense. In Staley’s defense, the strategy is to disguise coverages, neutralize what the quarterback wants to do, and rush a standard number of defenders. In the Raheem Morris defense, the strategy includes rotating shell coverage, but also adds that bit of blitzing to ensure the quarterback is never comfortable.
After three games a year ago, the LA Rams had eight quarterback sacks. This year, the Rams have nine sacks. In three games from 2020, the Rams allowed 75 of 115 passes for 819 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. In three games in 2021? The Rams have allowed 92 of 131 passes for 844 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.
But there is one other thing that should be mentioned here. This defense is led by second-year defensive back Jordan Fuller. This is a team that has taken the ‘lock down’ aspect of Jalen Ramsey away from one receiver and spread him all over the secondary. This is a defense that just like 2020, is still in the early stages of maturity.
Perhaps most of all, this is still a defense that still boasts All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald and All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
Because the Rams offense scores so quickly this year, opposing teams will have more opportunity to score as well, and will have the incentive to attempt to keep pace with this Rams team. But if Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady cannot keep pace despite throwing it at the peak of his career, will many teams be able to do so?
This defense complements the Rams offense, just as the offense complements this Rams defense. The Rams are aggressive and attack both sides of the ball. It’s time to give this defense its due. Raheem Morris, in the first fifth of the 2021 NFL season, has delivered a defense that is worthy. Don’t believe me? Let’s examine it a bit more closely…