Ugly II: Raheem Morris’ defense is still a work in process
The LA Rams defense didn’t stop the pass. It most certainly did not stop the run. It didn’t even stop the Arizona Cardinals from putting up 37 points on the scoreboard. And yet, this was one game. Just one game, folks. So take down the Morris-should-be-fired threads in forums and social media. Let’s pause, take a deep breath, and begin again.
The LA Rams gave up two touchdowns after turnovers. The Rams defense was on the field for 35 minutes. The Rams had to defend 72 plays, while only running 64 plays on offense. It’s not a perfect defense just yet, but will it improve over time? I think it will, yes.
Where will those improvements come from? Well, this is a young defense playing for a new defensive coordinator. The Rams faced a hot offense and never really seemed to have a handle on how to defend Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Will they have a better strategy for their next contest? Hopefully yes.
Murray threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 39 more yards. But the defense was a bit clumsy in this one. Players did not stay home. The Rams pass rush did not contain Murray as successful defenses do. The front four raced to get Murray, and he simply ran to an open spot and let ‘er fly.
The Rams simply ignored defending the run, which kept the defense on the field even longer. The Rams have created a defense that plays with more physicality, and that means that the guys who are going after the big hits are also giving up the big plays. The Rams’ secondary needs a good look at who is truly making plays. Safety Taylor Rapp made a lot of tackles but wasn’t very good in coverage. Good quarterbacks can target a struggling defensive back in the secondary. But in my estimation, the Rams defense had two DBs struggling to cover anyone.