The stars were out at SoFi Stadium for the Los Angeles Rams’ opening night matchup against the Chicago Bears. Dodgers infielders Justin Turner and Corey Seager watched as Jalen Ramsey and the Rams defense held the Bears to 14 points in the Week 1 opener. Let’s take a look into what the Rams defense did to limit Chicago on Sunday Night Football.
The “Star Position”
There has been a lot of chatter this offseason about who would play the star position in Los Angeles. With Raheem Morris taking over defensive coordinator duties as the Rams lost Brandon Staley to the Chargers, there were a lot of questions about how the defense would do. Granted, any defense with Aaron Donald and Ramsey will be an incredibly talented defense, but nonetheless questions flew.
Coming into Sunday night, a lot of fans and analysts wanted Ramsey to play the star position. Essentially, instead of placing Ramsey on one side of the field and only shadowing one receiver, Morris allows Ramsey to roam the line of scrimmage. On the first few drives alone last night, Ramsey made tackles on screens and quick hitters that he never would have made if he only followed Allen Robinson along the perimeter.
Ramsey totaled nine tackles, two of them being tackles for losses. With Darious Williams and David Long able to handle the outside corner duties, especially against a weak receiving team like Chicago, Ramsey can roam free and multiply on the normal chaos that Aaron Donald causes on the line of scrimmage.
Pass Rush and Run Defense
Donald was the only Rams player with a sack, but there was consistent pressure all evening long. Donald, Leonard Floyd and the Rams edge group did a superior job of making Andy Dalton feel uncomfortable. Outside of Taylor Rapp crashing on a safety blitz and getting leveled by left tackle Jason Peters, the Bears couldn't keep up with Los Angeles on passing plays.
The Rams' run defense left much to be desired. Bears running back David Montgomery averaged 6.8 yards per rush and easily hit over 100 yards rushing. Even with the Bears playing from behind the majority of the time, Montgomery still ran wild over Los Angeles whenever he wanted. Once the interior group gets more work together, that unit can become a formidable unit.
Notable PFF Defensive Pressures
Aaron Donald: 6
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Notable PFF Grades
Justin Hollins 90.1
Kenny Young: 81.4
Aaron Donald 81.4