LA Rams have improved on Chiefs formula to master them in SB LIX

The LA Rams learned enough from Chiefs current SB winning streak to master them if they face one another in SB LIX
Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs, Sean McVay, Andy Reid
Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs, Sean McVay, Andy Reid / Jason Hanna/GettyImages
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Difference-maker II: Rams defense is young and hungry

Believe it or not, the LA Rams defense in 2023 was better than that of the Kansas City Chiefs in run defense. The Rams allowed just 106.8 yards on the ground in 2023 per game to the 113.2 yards per game allowed by the Chiefs defense. But before you counter with the argument of the Chiefs faced more rushes, the Rams allowed just 4.2 yards per run, while the Chiefs allowed 4.5 yards per fun.

Advantage Rams.

Where the Chiefs held the upper hand is in pass defense. Not only did the Chiefs allow far fewer yards per game (176.5 YPG vs. the Rams 231.1 YPG), but they held a huge advantage in terms of pass rush. Their 57 quarterback sacks in 2023 were second to only the Baltimore Ravens who put up 60 sacks last year.

The Rams pass rush could only muster 41 quarterback sacks in 2023.

If all things were created equally, the Chiefs would be clear frontrunners to field a far better pass defense in 2024. Ah, but all things are not equal. Let me explain.

The Chiefs defense is a mature veteran group that has been playing alongside one another for several years. It's safe to assume that their 2023 performance is the ceiling for thei 2024 expectations. But the opposite is true for the LA Rams defense. With the team boasting incredible rookie seasons out of both NT Kobie Turner and OLB Byron Young, the expectation is that the two rookies who combined for 17.0 quarterback sacks are just getting warmed up.

You would not be off base to expect 25.0 quarterback sacks between the pair in 2024.

But the Rams defense did not just sit on its arse and contemplate ways to get better in the offseason. The front office carpet bombed the defensive front with the like of OLB Jared Verse and DT Braden Fiske from the Florida State Seminoles' outstanding defense. Then the draft engine rolled on by selecting OLB Brennan Jackson and DT Tyler Davis, two more rookies who are expected to earn meaningful roles in the defensive rotation.

The Rams defensive players were hand-picked, not just for their on-field production, but for their passion for the game. This is a young and hungry group of defenders. and they are gnawing at the bit to play football in 2024. They may not be as effective as the Chiefs defense, yet. But by the time the season ends, it's quite likely that more teams will fear facing them.