After three consecutive losses the Los Angeles Rams have issues and are seeking answers. The difficulty is that the problems are not isolated to either side of the football or any particular position group. But one area that is definitely below standard and may be the most challenging to fix is the secondary.
Jalen Ramsey aside, the Rams have no other players that can reliably cover the receivers brought on by winning teams. Against LA, the Arizona Cardinals had 280 yards receiving, the San Francisco 49ers Deebo Samuel had 97 yards receiving, and the Green Bay Packers produced 307 yards through the air.
Rams Cornerback Darious Williams had a breakout season in 2020 and was expected to be a strong point opposite Ramsey in 2021 and the pair was projected to be a tough match for any receiver duo they lined up against. None of those things have occurred. Ramsey isn’t on his outside position for Williams to play opposite, they aren't consistently matching up against the opponents best, and Williams has regressed.
Last season Willams had four interceptions. This season, through 11 games, having missed three games to injury and started in eight, Williams has zero interceptions. PFF graded the cornerback last season as an overall 80 while this season his grade is a 61.
After Williams, the depth at defensive back is an even bigger issue. Fourth year DB David Long Jr was given a shot early in the season and proved incapable of coverage, rookie Robert Rochell has also played some snaps while Williams was injured and while showing flashes of potential was also beat enough times to be sent back to the bench and finally Donte Deayon was elevated from the practice squad and on Sunday he could not keep up with any one of the Packers receivers.
So far, the schemes of defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has not helped these defensive backs. Soft, predictable coverages that don’t challenge or adjust to the offense is making a secondary with sub standard talent even worse. The Rams don't have options this late in the season to drastically alter the personnel. Ramsey can only do so much and is also being limited by the poor game planning. It falls on McVay and Morris to prepare the players and game plans to lift this group and put them in advantageous positions. It falls on the coaching to fix the holes in this secondary and with the matchups that still remain this season, they must.
And now for today’s links: