Have the LA Rams turned around the team’s turnover troubles?

Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams showed off a very good defense in 2020. But in terms of giveaways/takeaways, the defense was not as adept at taking the football away from the opposing team as the offense was inept at giving the football back to them. We monitored the situation frequently last season, and it was a bit of foreshadowing that eventually did hold true for the Rams falling short of their goals.

In 2021, the LA Rams turnover situation is in better standing. After three games, the team is at a +2 in turnovers. The LA Rams defense has four takeaways, and the offense has two giveaways.  Successful teams win the battle of turnovers. In fact, it aligns very nicely as one of the key statistics that exhibits a team’s playoff potential. Only the LA Rams and the Washington Football team made the playoffs in 2020 with a negative turnover number.

So the question is, have the LA Rams turned around the team’s turnover troubles?

The answer to that may not be as easy as you might think.  You see, the net turnovers are functions of two different forces on the football team. How well can the Rams defense generate turnovers compared to how well the Rams offense prevents turnovers.

IN 2020, the deceptive defense of Brandon Staley allowed the Rams defense to generate 22 takeaways, good enough to be ranked 11th-best in the NFL. Unfortunately, the Rams offense allowed 25 giveaways, which was ranked 25th in the NFL.  For comparison purposes, the Tenessee Titans turned the ball over just 12 times for the entire 2020 season.

In just three games, the LA Rams are on pace to be on track to end the season nearly as well as the Titans did in 2020. Not only does that help out the offense in terms of keeping drives alive, but it is a huge boost to the defense in preventing bringing them back out to defend a short field.

We talked about the ability of Matthew Stafford to limit his turnovers in July 2021, when we cited what the Matthew Stafford effect would mean to the LA Rams in 2021. So far, we believe that we may have underestimated Stafford’s impact on the LA Rams offense. But we are learning quickly.

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Part of the sudden improvement in the LA Rams offense is not just having a quarterback who throws 75-yard touchdowns in less than one minute. Part of Matthew Stafford’s magic is simply the fact that he’s done a pretty good job of not throwing the ball to defensive players. As long as he can avoid slipping in ball security? The Rams offense will remain among the Top-5 offenses in the NFL.