After facing an abysmal Chicago Bears offense in Week 1, the Los Angeles Rams faced their first true test against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Quarterback Carson Wentz, running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. did their best to take down defensive tackle Aaron Donald and the Rams defense. Fortunately for the L.A. faithful, Donald and Jalen Ramsey held down the fort on multiple goal line stands in a 27-24 victory over the Colts.
In Week 1, Bears running back David Montgomery ran all over the Rams defensive front. Rolling into Indianapolis, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris put an emphasis on the running game.
“You have to get them off-schedule,” Morris said Thursday ahead of the Colts matchup. “If you could find a way to get any offense off-schedule, but particularly this one because of how ball control can be with the two backs. Get these guys off-schedule and force them to do a couple of things that they don’t want to do.”
Beginning with a first quarter goal line stand, Donald and the Rams consistently shut down Taylor in key situations. With three tries inside the 5-yard line, Taylor was unable to break through the Rams defensive line and create any offense. Throughout the afternoon, Taylor averaged 3.4 yards per carry. After Taylor, Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines were absent from any big plays. Donald and Sebastian Joseph-Day totalled 16 tackles in an impressive interior performance.
When it mattered, Ramsey stepped up in critical situations. With 2:14 left in the 4th quarter, Ramsey picked off Colts backup quarterback Jacob Eason, who was in for the hobbled Carson Wentz, to secure the game for L.A.
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Ramsey credited safety Taylor Rapp with some pre-game communication that allowed Ramsey to be in the right position for an easy interception.
Pittman dominated throughout the afternoon, hauling in eight catches for 123 yards. With Ramsey roaming in the star position, cornerback's Darious Williams and David Long Jr. secured the outside. Other than Pittman, the Rams held Colts receivers to limited action and kept Wentz contained for the greater part of Sunday's contest. L.A. sacked Wentz three times and the Colts struggled to attain any rhythm throughout the game.
The Rams move on next week to face the elite Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense in America’s Game of the Week on Fox. Donald and Ramsey will line up against Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski in what appears to be the ultimate test of what the Rams defense can do this season.
Kickoff for the Rams Week 3 game is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 26 at 1:25 p.m. PT.
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MJ Hurley is a Contributor of Ram Digest. Follow MJ on Twitter @Mjhurleysports.