No surprise, former Rams DC targets DB Taylor Rapp for easy victory

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Sometimes I feel a bit of remorse over the way I have commented on the play of LA Rams defensive back Taylor Rapp. Despite what my eyes have told me for the past two seasons, he has earned and maintained his starting role, sometimes to the point where I was in complete disbelief.

But when I witnessed how easily the LA Chargers’ passing attack simply blew past Rapp as though he was a fixed object, I regained my confidence in what I have been seeing all along. However others may have seen his performance, I have tried to remain objective. But when targetted in the passing game, I was seldom not disappointed by the outcome of the play.

In short, Taylor Rapp struggles at pass defense. He has contributed to the defense in other ways. When the LA Rams did not invest in inside linebackers, Rapp was often called to play in the heart of the defense on passing downs. And he has the ability to play in the box.

Staley seemed to target Rapp

But when facing the LA Chargers and his former defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, it seemed as though the Chargers threw an incredible number of times at Rapp, and whenever they did, they either got a huge gain or a touchdown. Like this play:

Who better knows the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the Rams’ current defense, than the guy who was the former defensive coordinator? And this was not a game marred by gaffes and turnovers. The LA Chargers offense worked in surgical precision, getting the most on their offensive drives, whether by running or passing the football.

The Chargers’ offense scored four touchdowns in the game, and on each score, it seemed as though Taylor Rapp failed to make a play that could have prevented points from going on the scoreboard. Was it all Taylor Rapp’s fault? No. But it certainly appeared as though he did not bring his A-game to this one.

The personnel pattern in 2022 was very . . . confounding

But all season, it has felt as though the LA Rams personnel struggled to align with the schemes being run by both the offense and defense on the football field. The Rams seemed hellbent to pass the football against the stiffest pass defenses in the NFL, even after proving with limited attempts that there were yards to be gained if the Rams committed to more rushing attempts and a balanced offense.

But despite the patchwork offensive line, the Rams insisted on dropping back and passing.

Entering the season with the backup center as the starting right guard, only to lose both to injury early in the season? Starting Jeremiah Kolone and Bobby Evans on the offensive line, even after both struggled mightily?

It was all quite confusing to me, so much so that I had to pause quite frequently to ask myself what was I missing. In the case of LA Rams DB Taylor Rapp, not much it seems. The LA Chargers had no trouble scoring at will. In the end, the LA Rams lose one more game but do not lose ground in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.

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