Offensive line failures
Well, it finally happened. The LA Rams offensive line finally appeared to be the disaster it really is. The Rams' offensive line allowed a total of eight sacks on Monday Night Football. That is correct. Yes, I said eight quarterback sacks. The official game statistics sheet, however, will only reflect six quarterback sacks on the official Week 3 NFL statistics sheet. That is because two of the Bengals' sacks will have been erased by penalties committed elsewhere on the field. But I think they are still important to note. After all, the wear and tear on seasoned veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford's body was not six official sacks, but the eight unofficial quarterback sacks that he had to endure.
The Rams offensive line failed to protect QB Matthew Stafford in Week 3. He was demolished, just as he was in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season, and the LA Rams are incredibly fortunate that he did not get injured. Some people may say it is because starting right guard Joe Noteboom (knee) and starting left tackle Alaric Jackson (thigh) got hurt. Because Jone Noteboom only missed three plays in the game, the Rams were essentially playing with just one backup offensive lineman in the game, Zach Thomas.
Rams OL beaten to the punch
The Rams lost LT Alaric Jackson after just 20 plays in this one.
Stafford was sacked once in the Rams' first possession of the game. He was sacked for a second time in the first half, this time on the last Rams possession of the second quarter. But by that time, the Rams were only playing without starting left tackle Alaric Jackson.
These injuries bring up my next point regarding the Rams' offensive line, this team continues to lack depth. The same problem with 2022 reared its ugly head again. In 2022, the Rams opted to back up the starting center (Brian Allen) with the starting right guard (Joe Noteboom). In 2023, the flaws of duplicative roles surfaced once more, as the Rams backed up the starting left tackle (Alaric Jackson) with the starting right guard (Joe Noteboom). On paper, that is fine. But when that starter goes out, the Rams must decide to go with their third option, in this case Zach Thomas, rather than their backup, Joe Noteboom.
It was evident after the loss of starting left tackle Alaric Jackson that the Bengals were able to get non-stop pressure on QB Matthew Stafford while only rushing four. Additionally, when the Rams brought in Tremayne Anchrum, he committed a hands-to-the-face penalty on his very first play after entering the game. Pair this with the Rams completely abandoning the run, not deploying the oft-touted 12-personnel package, and facing a defense that simply loaded up with defensive backs for the Bengals and it had all the ingredients of a losing recipe for the LA Rams.