From the sidelines
Let’s start at a point that many will agree with. The expectations for the Rams defense have just skyrocketed. But has the team’s true potential? Well, that will only be proven over time. The upcoming Sunday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans could certainly provide ample evidence.
The LA Rams have faced off against two of the top four NFL offenses. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the LA Rams played nearly flawless football. While the Rams allowed the Buccaneers’ offense to move the ball up and down the field, the defense tightened up when points were at stake. The Rams defense held the Buccaneers to 8.5 points below their 2021 season average. The defense did not fare as well against the Arizona Cardinals. Buoyed by two turnovers, the Cardinals outpaced their average against the Rams defense by 70 yards and by 6.5 points.
The Rams struggle to shut down their opponents on third downs. Per Team Rankings.com, the Rams defense is the 21st-ranked team in terms of stopping offenses from converting on third downs. The defense flips the switch on fourth downs, becoming the third-stingiest defense in the NFL on fourth down conversions.
Von Miller will help in those specific scenarios. He’s a sage veteran, a victor in any number of NFL pressure-cooker contests, and will not be easily bated into taking an inside pass rush when the offense wants to run to the outside. Miller’s ability to come after the quarterback rivals the power and speed of Aaron Donald.
Getting the defense off the field will be a huge positive. But it’s not the only area where the Rams will improve.