5 improvements for the LA Rams defense after off-season additions

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Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Bobby Wagner
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Improvement III – Stop third down and short

The LA Rams struggle to shut down opposing offenses because the team was often unable to stop a running back from moving the chains. While the LA Rams were still among the Top-10 defenses at stopping opponents from converting on third down, the team was only able to lay claim to that lofty spot after a solid run of success to close out the season.

At the end of November 2021, the Rams’ defense was firmly entrenched as the 22nd-ranked defense at stopping offenses from converting on third down. That was a significant factor in such a lopsided Time of Possession.  But the team did get better.

light. Hot. Coach Henderson breaking down LA Rams #DAWGWORK

Optimism overflowing

This year, I have reasons to be more optimistic. For starters, the LA Rams boast what I believe is the best defensive line under Coach McVay. But perhaps more importantly, the LA Rams will have both Ernest Jones for a full season, as well as veteran Bobby Wagner, defending the middle of the defense this season. I, for one, believe that will end up being a talking point throughout the 2022 NFL season.

The Seattle Seahawks ended the 2021 season ranked 15th in the league at stopping teams on third down conversions, and the Rams came in at seventh best. But Wagner was a key contributor to the Seahawks’ performance, and he is now wearing horns. Can the Rams do even better? I think that they can. Whether it’s Jones or Wagner patrolling over the middle, offenses will find a much tougher time of it this year.

On fourth down, the Seahawks ranked third best in the league, allowing teams to convert on fourth down just 41.94 percent of the time. The LA Rams were the 15th-ranked defense, allowing 51.22 percent of fourth down conversions. This is where Wagner will make a huge difference, and you will notice the improvement pretty quickly.