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Ok so why does the Rams defense suck?


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No Talib.

People wasnt talking about how bad the Rams secondary was before Talib got hurt. Peters also got hurt and his injury looked worst than Talib but he decided to gut it out and play. Talib is as close as a shutdown corner as you can get in the NFL today. Peters is more of a flashy corner. He will give up big plays but he will also create big plays too which will offset the ones he gives up. You can live with that with a guy like Talib on the other side locking down the top receiver. Plus Talib is a vet that is physical, in your face dog. He will get in Thomas face and wont let him get 200yds receiving on him. That big td catch in the 4th quarter if you notice the Saints caught Peters no set because he was trying to communicate with the other guys on defense. You think that happens to Talib? No. That just wont happen. He didnt even let Allen have a big game on him before he left the game against the Chargers back in Week 3. I dont think Diggs has a big game if Talib was playing Week 4 against the Vikings. I dont think Adams have a big game if Talib played Week 7 against the Packers. So Talib is missed greatly and he will be back Week 13 against the Lions. I think Peters has played well the last two games but Hill is still out their opposite of Peters. Week 13 thats going to change with Talib back playing opposite of Peters and we will see the Rams secondary go back to being good again.

As for the run defense, Wade defensive scheme is weak against tight ends and the running game. It was like that in Denver with the "No Fly Zone" and Miller/Ware and the crew. I remember in 2016 the Raiders just lined up and ran the ball down the Broncos throats. They couldnt pass on them but they ran all over them. The best thing for the Rams though is the offense is so good that they jump out on teams where they have to abandon the run early and start throwing. When Talib coming back, teams are going to have to deal with a good secondary again when they are throwing to catch up.

My overall thoughts about the defense though, no matter how anyone slice it, the Rams defense comes up with the stops when they need it the most. This season when they needed to stop Cousins on a clutch drive they did. When they needed to stop Wilson on a clutch drive they did. They just stopped Mahomes twice on clutch drives when they needed. When people suggest that if Montgomery wouldve taken the knee and gave ARod the ball back he wouldve led them down the field for the win, how do we know the Rams defense wouldnt have made another clutch stop? Thats all they have been doing. Wade makes the proper adjustments at halftime and the Rams defense steps up in the 3rd quarter. They held the Saints to ZERO points in the 3rd quarter that helped the Rams get back into the game. They held the Chiefs to 7pts in the 3rd quarter to help the Rams gain some control of the game heading into the 4th quarter. So the way I see it is getting Talib back will be huge and the Rams make the stops when they need to. Its easy to look at the stats and say the Rams defense sucks. They are 10-1 and the only loss was on the road at the Saints where they were down 14-35 and came back to tie the game in the 4th quarter. The defense had to step up in order to make that comeback. Other teams had their chances to tie or beat the Rams. The Rams defense made the stops to win those games. Plus the Rams got the best closer in the NFL and thats Donald. He typically is in most of those clutch defensive stops and has always been in his career with the Rams. The most classic one was back in 2015 where it was 4th and 1 in OT where he stuffed Lynch and helped the Rams beat the Seahawks. 

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Okay so, before the season started when I looked at the Rams roster, the overwhelming glaring weakness was their linebackers.  It's really hard to have a great run defense without a really good linebacker(s).  I think some of those guys have honestly played well above expectations this season, but they still don't have a rock to anchor their defense.  Along the defensive line, Suh is a disappointment.  With the amount that Aaron Donald is getting double teamed, that should open up a lot for Suh and he's just not really making much of an impact. 

Talib's absence is really big.  Peters has struggled this season, but in fairness to him he did continue to play through an injury that people initially thought could sideline him for roughly a month and he has been forced into the #1 CB spot in a scheme that doesn't necessarily play to his strengths.  Once Talib comes back that will completely transform their secondary, so I'm not as worried about that.

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1 hour ago, stl4life07 said:

 As for the run defense, Wade defensive scheme is weak against tight ends and the running game. It was like that in Denver with the "No Fly Zone" and Miller/Ware and the crew. I remember in 2016 the Raiders just lined up and ran the ball down the Broncos throats. They couldnt pass on them but they ran all over them. 

The roster was gutted in 2016. 

The 2015 Broncos defense had no problems stopping the run. They were top 5. The Texans teams had no problem stopping the run, they were always top 10 except for 2011 when they were 11th (the year where Wade had to be interim HC). 

It’s not a traditional two-gap, but it’s not systemically bad against the run. Those teams were all strong up front with good LBs (something LAR doesn’t have off the LOS) so it’s struggling.

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7 hours ago, SmittyBacall said:

Are the Rams just letting Donald and co. focus on penetration while forgoing gap responsibility? What's the deal there?

Kind of having to because we really don't have the traditional EDGE presence that most teams function with.  The game against KC seemed like a breakout for Samson Ebukam, but ultimately the guy is much more complementary EDGE (think Brooks Reed/Connor Barwin/Shaun Phillips) than someone who is really going to force a DC to have pause about whether to gameplan around him.  We just got Okoronkwo back from IR, but he's a rookie who wasn't expected to be an every-down player this season.

And then you consider we're starting Mark Barron at ILB alongside Corey Littleton - we lack a thumper and it shows BIG TIME, but I'd argue just as much that we lack the onfield chessmaster/"green dot" player (which in Wade's defenses has typically been an ILB) who reads and adjusts the defense from within it.  Micah Kiser evidently hasn't shown enough in practices to merit additional playing time (plus you have to figure Barron's contract is dictating him being on the field until someone forcibly takes his spot from him with superior play).

Beyond that, and with regard to the secondary, Marcus Peters is not and was never a Revis/Sherman style shutdown corner, but rather more (particularly in context of a Phillips-Burroughs defense) an Antonio Cromartie type corner who preys upon QB's having to throw at him while he's on their second read (go back and watch how he abused Rivers when he was on the Chiefs and bare in mind that Rivers' primary read - out of habit - has almost always been either his TE or his RB, and often times his second read is a quick check to see if the deep-route busted coverage); but paramount to that is having a capable boundary corner on the opposite side who can at least slow down the other side.  When Talib went down part of that equation was non-functional.  

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It's a mixture of things, most of which have been mentioned, to some degree.

You have some new additions that have either underwhelmed or been absent. Suh has been good, but I don't think he's been the difference maker many expected. Talib has been injured. Peters has been a massive disappointment. And this is a bit less surprising, but Sam Shields has not been a strong asset either. So your core thing here is the CBs, which were supposed to be the best unit in the NFL, have all been injured or just not good.

The LB corp was expected to be a weakness, and has been. Despite Ebukam's showing against KC, they don't have much of an edge rush presence. The pressure comes from the inside, or it probably doesn't. The ILBs are a mix of not good and undersized. Barron was a neat idea that I think has probably gone on too long, at this point. And the weakness at ILB isn't helped in the run game by the aggressiveness of the interior line.

The entire defense, roster and scheme, is built to be aggressive, but they're not solid enough all around to not pay for it. You have a DL that wants to attack, but the LBs aren't good enough to stop the run when that aggressiveness is taken advantage of. You have CBs that are built to jump routes and play for the turnover, but the secondary overall isn't consistent enough in coverage to not get burnt in the process.

And also, it's honestly just hard to field a good defense with an elite offense. It really is. Teams pass more. They get more aggressive and creative. They're more likely to go for it on 4th. Personnel groupings shift to aim more for chunk yards than steady drives. You also change how you play defense, to an extent. When your offense is elite, it just gets difficult to have a statistically good defense with it.

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25 minutes ago, Jakuvious said:

It's a mixture of things, most of which have been addressed, to some degree.

You have some new additions that have either underwhelmed or been absent. Suh has been good, but I don't think he's been the difference maker many expected. Talib has been injured. Peters has been a massive disappointment. And this is a bit less surprising, but Sam Shields has not been a strong asset either. So your core thing here is the CBs, which were supposed to be the best unit in the NFL, have all been injured or just not good.

The LB corp was expected to be a weakness, and has been. Despite Ebukam's showing against KC, they don't have much of an edge rush presence. The pressure comes from the inside, or it probably doesn't. The ILBs are a mix of not good and undersized. Barron was a neat idea that I think has probably gone on too long, at this point. And the weakness at ILB isn't helped in the run game by the aggressiveness of the interior line.

The entire defense, roster and scheme, is built to be aggressive, but they're not solid enough all around to not pay for it. You have a DL that wants to attack, but the LBs aren't good enough to stop the run when that aggressiveness is taken advantage of. You have CBs that are built to jump routes and play for the turnover, but the secondary overall isn't consistent enough in coverage to not get burnt in the process.

And also, it's honestly just hard to field a good defense with an elite offense. It really is. Teams pass more. They get more aggressive and creative. They're more likely to go for it on 4th. Personnel groupings shift to aim more for chunk yards than steady drives. You also change how you play defense, to an extent. When your offense is elite, it just gets difficult to have a statistically good defense with it.

Rams have the 8th most defensive scrimmage snaps. However it is better to be in their position where they have a healthy TOP advantage on offense as opposed to say the Bengals or Cardinal who are bottom 5 on offensive scrimmage snaps and top 5 with most defensive snaps. Teams do pass on the Rams (probably good because they are last in ypc against) they have the 8th most passing attempts against compared to 18th most rushing attempts against. Rams are bottom 5 in QB rating against so statistically you can have success running or passing. By comparison the Browns have the 2nd most pass attempts against and 5th most rush attempts against (we like OT) but are still top 3 in rating against and terrible against the run (4.7) but a half yard better than the Rams.

I do think circumstances play a role in the Rams defensive struggles but I don't think it is the main reason they have struggled. Teams with worse circumstances have fared much better with less talent in most if not all cases.

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Wade's a pass rush-oriented defensive coordinator. Always has been. His units ran hot and cold everywhere he went. He's not a scheme integrity type of guy; he doesn't actually have a set scheme. His philosophy is to take each individual player and invent something where he is doing what he excels most at. The result of that is sometimes that the way the overall unit plays isn't so great. 

I don't think he really schemes for different opponents, either. 

A Wade Phillips defense is like, "OK, Aaron, you do whatever you want. I trust you. I'll play you all over the place. Suh? You can just pin your ears back and go. Don't worry about it. Linebackers...just find the ball."

 

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10 hours ago, Thomas5737 said:

Rams have the 8th most defensive scrimmage snaps. However it is better to be in their position where they have a healthy TOP advantage on offense as opposed to say the Bengals or Cardinal who are bottom 5 on offensive scrimmage snaps and top 5 with most defensive snaps. Teams do pass on the Rams (probably good because they are last in ypc against) they have the 8th most passing attempts against compared to 18th most rushing attempts against. Rams are bottom 5 in QB rating against so statistically you can have success running or passing. By comparison the Browns have the 2nd most pass attempts against and 5th most rush attempts against (we like OT) but are still top 3 in rating against and terrible against the run (4.7) but a half yard better than the Rams.

I do think circumstances play a role in the Rams defensive struggles but I don't think it is the main reason they have struggled. Teams with worse circumstances have fared much better with less talent in most if not all cases.

I only intended to suggest it as a part, not as a primary reason. I mentioned 4 different aspects to their struggles., with three of them being personnel/scheme, only one of them being circumstances. I never said it is the main reason.

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On 21/11/2018 at 7:42 AM, Riftty said:

A lot of our defensive line just pins their ears back and go for the rush. And our linebackers aren't good enough to cover for a dline that doesn't fill their gaps.

The pass is a different story. Talib is our "island" guy if there is even such a thing in today's NFL. Marcus Peters is all about jumping routes and playing instincts not man. So missing Talib, Peters playing out of style and with the regression of our safties our secondary just is plain and simple bad without Talib. 

So it all boils down to our defense is great for the splash plays, turnovers, pressure, sacks. Bad at teams marching up and down the field. Talib will help a little but I wouldn't expect a top 10 defense or anything. 

Our defense won that KC game. If they win us games here and there, our offense will do the rest.

This seems a lot like the impression i get.  It's not a "good defense", but it kinda doesn't need to be.  The Rams are mostly built to boat race with that offense.  If the defense can occasionally generate those "splash plays" that crater drives like sacks/turnovers/etc so that the other team's offense is scoring on less of its drives than the Rams offense...they're probably in plenty good shape.

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On 21/11/2018 at 6:39 PM, stl4life07 said:

Talib is as close as a shutdown corner as you can get in the NFL today. Peters is more of a flashy corner. He will give up big plays but he will also create big plays too which will offset the ones he gives up. You can live with that with a guy like Talib on the other side locking down the top receiver.

Umm ... No.

Talib isn't that guy. Talib is a risk taking CB, just like Peters. They both prefer to play off coverage with their eyes on the QB rather than playing press man coverage. Talib could do this in Denver because the actual shutdown corner, Chris Harris Jr, was on the other side.

Talib is a game changing CB. He's a great matchup vs long WR's/TE's because of his arm length. However, he is far, far from a shutdown CB.

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1 hour ago, lomaxgrUK said:

Umm ... No.

Talib isn't that guy. Talib is a risk taking CB, just like Peters. They both prefer to play off coverage with their eyes on the QB rather than playing press man coverage. Talib could do this in Denver because the actual shutdown corner, Chris Harris Jr, was on the other side.

Talib is a game changing CB. He's a great matchup vs long WR's/TE's because of his arm length. However, he is far, far from a shutdown CB.

I disagree. Talib was quite a dominant cover CB in 2015 and 2016. He took a slight step back in 2017, but he was still damn good. And he was off to a great start in 2018 before his injury. He's more of a playmaker when playing off, but he can smother WRs while pressing. And he's the best answer to the woes we have been having. He won't fix it all, but getting Troy Hill off the field for a true #1 CB will make a huge difference for this defense. Talib is exactly the sort of guy we need to combat the big WRs who have been giving us problems.

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Just now, jrry32 said:

I disagree. Talib was quite a dominant cover CB in 2015 and 2016. He took a slight step back in 2017, but he was still damn good. And he was off to a great start in 2018 before his injury. He's more of a playmaker when playing off, but he can smother WRs while pressing. And he's the best answer to the woes we have been having. He won't fix it all, but getting Troy Hill off the field for a true #1 CB will make a huge difference for this defense. Talib is exactly the sort of guy we need to combat the big WRs who have been giving us problems.

Like Tyreek Hill ;)

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