I: Rams run defense
One of the LA Rams unsung heroes on the defensive side of the football was third-year inside linebacker Ernest Jones. Not only did his nine tackles for the Rams lead the defense, but his three tackles-for-a-loss led all defenders in the game. And he is just getting started.
That's a good thing, because the LA Rams defense will definitely need to upgrade their effort in Week 2 to have any chance against the San Francisco 49ers. After the Rams took the lead in the second half, the Seahawks began to throw the football more often, and run the football less often. By the time that the final whistle blew, the Seahawks had passed 26 times, but run the football just 18 times.
While I do not know how Week 2 will turn out, I am confident that the 49ers offensive strategy includes running the football 30+ times.
Where can the Rams get better run defense?
Like it or not, the Rams will need a Pro-Bowl-like effort from Ernest Jones in Week 2. That is not an exaggeration. Rather it's simply what it will take for the Rams to stop a determined 49ers ground assault led by RB Christian McCaffrey.
In Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers passed the football 29 times, and ran the football 34 times. The 49ers were led by the running of McCaffrey, who churned out 152 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries. You can expect the 49ers to hand him the football even more than that in this contest. So how can the young Rams defense hope to stop him?
The Rams offense will need to score early and often. If the LA Rams can get an early lead, then that will put pressure on quarterback Brock Purdy to carry their offense. In the season opener, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense allowed Purdy to pick his sports. If the Rams hope to corral McCaffrey, the best option is to take him out of the game by sinking the 49ers at an early scoring deficit.
Can this young Rams roster pull off a second consecutive upset victory? While it's a huge uphill battle, after the way the LA Rams won in Week 1, anything is possible this season.