clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What we learned: LA Rams vs Denver Broncos

New, comments

It wasn’t pretty, but the unbeaten Rams escape what could have been a trap game.

Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The defense is still pretty good, mostly. This is 2018, and other than maybe the Baltimore Ravens, every defense is going to get caught with their pants down occasionally, or often. That includes all the “powerhouses” from the Jacksonville Jaguars, to the Minnesota Vikings, to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Rams defense is currently ranked 7th in the league in points allowed. We haven’t seen an all around dominant performance since cornerback Aqib Talib was lost, but they have almost always made plays when they were needed late in games. They haven’t been “lights out” most of the time, but they have been able to stymie opposing offenses just enough to get Goff and Co. a couple extra possessions per game. And maybe that’s about all we ask in today’s NFL.

The Rams could use a bye week. Watching all these knick-knack injuries is getting stressful. Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, Michael Brockers, Cooper Kupp, and Matt Longacre, all went down at some point against the Broncos. Miraculously, none of the injuries ended up being too serious, but expect Sean McVay to offer his vets any opportunity to rest in upcoming weeks, with the team’s bye week still a month away. A late-November bye week should set the team up for a nice playoff run, but they’ll need to stay intact in the meantime.

The Rams running backs do a wonderful job of pass blocking. When you couple Todd Gurley’s and Malcolm Brown’s pass blocking with a supreme offensive line, it’s no wonder that Jared Goff has spent most of the season upright. The Broncos actually got home more than any other opponent has so far this season, behind the strength off edge rushers Bradley Chubb and Von Miller; but it could have been worse if a few of their blitzes hadn’t been plucked up by an alert and committed Todd Gurley.

The Rams can win a bunch of different ways. This time they went to Todd Gurley when they needed critical first downs. The Broncos game had all the makings of a trap game, and while the frigid temperatures appeared to affect Jared Goff’s game, the Rams ultimately had answers. In the postseason you never know what kind of game you’ll end up in, and each of these regular season games will provide valuable experience for what is still a pretty young team. But so far, the Rams appear to be able to make the required plays, no matter what an opposing defense tries to take away, and no matter how thick the funk may get.