Reason II: Rams defense is ripe for a rebound game
The LA Rams defense has played well all season and has exceeded my expectations. But this is a team that has had to face some pretty dangerous offenses this season. The Rams have had to face four of the top eight NFL offenses this season and are coming off a rather disappointing showing on the road against the Ravens.
But the Rams defense may be ready to rebound. There are four more games remaining on the Rams schedule, and on the San Francisco 49ers boasts a top tier offense. The Rams will face the Washington Commanders (ranked 23rd), New Orleans Saints (ranked 15th), New York Giants (ranked 31st) and the San Francisco 49ers (ranked third).
The Commanders are far more effective at passing than running the football, and that serves up the Rams secondary and pass rush to take center stage after two games against AFC North teams that offered up dangerous ground assaults.
Rams pass rush will headline Week 15 defensive effort
The Commanders offense is one that is feast or famine through the air. Yes, Commancers QB Sam Howell knows how to connect with his receivers, completing 335 of 509 passes for 3,466 yards, 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. But the Commanders allow quarterback pressure, as Howell has been dropped in the pocket 58 times in just 13 games. That works out to nearly 4.5 quarterback sacks per game.
Now, here comes a very hungry LA Rams pass rush led by All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald (6.0 sacks), and including OLB Michael Hoecht (4.5 sacks), rookie OLB Byron Young (6.0 sacks), and NT Kobie Turner (5.5 sacks). Even ILB Ernest Jones (2.5 sacks) and DE Jonah Williams (2.0 sacks) could get in on the fun this week.
The Rams could put up as many as six or more quarterback sacks in this one. If the Rams offense gets an early lead and the Commanders offense is forced into emphasizing the pass, more than one Rams defender could emerge with multiple quarterback sacks this week.