LA Rams need a lot more of Game 8 Leonard Floyd

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

We know that the San Francisco 49ers hold an almost supernatural ability to beat the LA Rams. But if you just set that 0-2 record to the side, the Rams are 3-2 against the rest of the NFL, while the 49ers are just 2-4. The LA Rams cannot and will not run with the football. The 49ers can and do.

But even in loss, the return of Leonard Floyd as a viable and productive pass rusher is something that we should not and will not overlook. Before the BYE, Floyd had no quarterback sacks and just 20 tackles in six games. Was it a lingering effect after his ankle surgery? Perhaps. But if so, then perhaps the BYE week timing was such that the Rams’ veteran outside linebacker has healed back to his familiar form.

That means NFL quarterbacks are now on alert. When facing the LA Rams, beware:

Against the quick-hurling 49ers quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, Floyd had two quarterback sacks and it didn’t stop there. He piled up nine tackles on the day, nearly double his season high best of five tackles. Best of all, he truly appeared to be back in his 2021 NFL form.

The Rams need a rejuvenated pass rush

That’s a very good thing because the Rams need all the help this team can get in terms of quarterback pressure. Right now, the Rams are abysmally lagging in terms of putting pressure on the quarterback. The Rams are dead last. It’s so bad, in fact, that the team is 33 percent lagging from the 31st-ranked team on the list, the Chicago Bears.

The pass rush for the Rams may have a shot at gaining some ground. Statistically, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rushing offense is even worse that that of the LA Rams, averaging just 61.9 yards per game on just under 21 carries per contest. The Rams average 68.4 yards per game on 21 carries per game. So this one will feature passing vs. passing.

While Buccanneers quarterback Tom Brady is clearly the better quarterback this season, throwing 2,168 yards, nine touchdowns, and only one interception to Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford’s 1,603 yards, seven touchdowns, and eight interceptions, Brady is not a dink-and-dunk sort of quarterback, relying on a quick release to fend off the Rams pass rush.

That could be a huge factor for the Rams’ defense, which continues to struggle at bringing down opposing quarterbacks. If the team could muster a pass rush in this one, they could frustrate Bucs QB, Tom Brady, enough to pull off the upset.

The LA Rams need a lot more of Game 8 outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. I may be a bit too optimistic in this one, but I think they get it.

ESPN’s NFL analyst Mina Kimes sees LA Rams falling to Bucs. light. Trending