LA Rams offense is key to defense’s Super Bowl performance

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Aaron Donald Von Miller
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams defense came through for the team in the NFL Playoffs. Many were disheartened by the unit after the 2020 NFL Season league leading’s 18.5 points per game performance, that unit actually dropped to 21.9 points per game in 2021. That unit got worse in the playoffs, allowing an average of 26.0 points per game. But the 2021 Rams defense got better, not worse, in the NFL Playoffs. The unit actually improved to 18.3 points per game, better than that 2020 unit, against three teams that are among the league’s best.

So what’s the scoop? Is this Bizzaro world or something?

Actually, it’s just more evidence of the logic we’ve laid down all season long. The tempo set by the offense has a direct impact on the performance of the defense. Per, in the 2020 regular season, the LA Rams offense averaged a Time Of Possession of 31:39. In the playoffs, the average TOP dropped to 29:14 per game.

Time to reflect on the value of Time of Possession

In the 2021 regular season, that Time of Possession had fallen to 29:55.  But come the playoffs? Suddenly it was the LA Rams that controlled the clock, and the outcome, of football games. How so? The team has been averaging a Time of Possession per game of 35:13.

Of course, you can make other arguments. You can go granular and argue the impact of specific plays on the outcome of the game, and you would have a point. On the other hand, you could cherry-pick games where the winning team did not win the TOP battle, and cite those examples. Of course, you would be correct with that as well.

But we’re making a case that the season-long outcries of “Fire Raheem Morris” may have been misplaced. If you think of the Rams defense as the custodial crew, too many were irate with the poor cleanup job the defense did without ever considering what kind of mess was left for them to clean up.

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We’ve just shown that the same unit, over the course of the regular season and the playoffs, has inverse results based on how long the corresponding offense held onto the football.

In short, the LA Rams offense sets the stage for how effective the defense plays.