LA Rams Trick or Treat? It’s our Halloween edition

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LA Rams News
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The LA Rams have made it through seven weeks of the 2021 NFL season, and have earned six hard-fought victories. On paper, the Rams have every reason to believe that they can defeat their Week 8 opponent, the Houston Texans, and be in an excellent position in terms of their standing among NFL teams as they turn the corner at the mid-season mark.

But much like the celebrated Halloween holiday, there is both boon and bane in the Rams organization, despite the amount of success enjoyed so far. After all, why kid ourselves? The true test of an NFL champion is to peak at the right time.

A quick review of the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers reveals that they were 5-2 after Week 7, but fell to 7-5 by the time they entered their Week 13 BYE week. What happened next? They won their next ten games: Four regular-season games, four post-season games, and then their first two regular-season games. It was not until they met the LA Rams in Week 3 that they finally lost. They have since resumed their winning ways, now on a four-game winning streak.

The point being is that the Rams needn’t perfect their performance just yet. Slow progression, tweak the roster, find the right formula to win as the season moves along. The most successful NFL team peaks as the playoffs arrive.

So why bash a team for showing vulnerabilities this early in the season. No, this is not the best defense in the NFL. But that LA Rams’ top-rated defense from 2020 stumbled in the playoffs. It’s one and done in the NFL playoffs. The key is getting there in good shape. Win enough games to secure a good seeding, but arrive healthy and prepared.

At Halloween, we have an opportunity to take an honest look at these Rams, both the parts that need improving and the parts that are running at peak efficiency. So let’s do this in the spirit of all Hallow’s eve, and offer both the trick and the treat of the LA Rams’ season so far.

Trick: Rams are still struggling in some areas

The LA Rams have earned a 6-1 record, beaten some rather formidable teams, and are still improving. But they are far from peaking. Per, the Rams special teams remain 31st among 32 NFL teams. While the same website has the Rams defense in a four-team tie as the ninth-ranked defense, the Rams defense has struggled to clear teams off the football field.

The Rams offense is excellent at putting up points, sometimes in less than a minute, from anywhere on the football field. So that places pressure on the defense to return to the football field and try to hold their opponents to three downs and a punt., That hasn’t been the case this year.

Perhaps the most significant change is the fact that the Rams 2020 defense may have been pushed around in the first half. But over halftime, the coaching staff was able to diagnose exactly what the offense was doing, and completely neutralize their strategy in the second half.

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So far, the Rams defense appears to have lost that ability.  To date, the Rams defense has surrendered 70 first-half points and 76 second-half points. That may not sit well with fans, but a year ago, the defense allowed 124 points after seven games. The difference was that the distribution was  91 first-half points, but only 33 second-half points. And therein lies the difference.