The Los Angeles Rams were unable to contain the New Orleans Saints’ offense, dropping 27 points in a losing effort. After a solid defensive effort in Week 9 at Tampa Bay, the Rams had a consistent underwhelming performance. There are only 22 sacks in a pass rush in 10 competitions. The team has a turnover differential of -7, with a total of five forced interceptions and three fumbles. What is the problem?
To get an idea of the squad’s performance and direction, Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked all of the players that competed in the Week 11 contest. Using the PFF scores and the game observation visual test, I will be evaluating and evaluating defensive positions weekly.
Here are the week 11 attack scores from week 11 if you missed them earlier.
Los Angeles Rams | NFL composition by positions | PFF
Weekly Score: Score for the corresponding week
Seasonal Evaluation: Evaluation of a position during a season.
Trend: Direction of a group of positions from last week to this week
* Denotes that the player is in the top three in the NFL.
Aaron Donald: 90.9* (+0.6), E’Shon Robinson: 64.4 (-0.1), Greg Gaines: 61.3 (+3.6), Marchioness Copeland: 69.6 (+1.7), Bobby Brown III: 60.2(-0.4), Mike Hecht: 71.1 (+6.3), John Williams: 42.4 (DNP)
Aaron Donald was the first to run into the locker room after losing. This should tell you everything you need to know about the state of affairs. Defense no longer intimidates teams. Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton just scored 54 in consecutive weeks without batting an eyelid. Even McCoy stabbed McVeigh after the Cardinals’ Week 10 victory.
Every week, Aaron Donald has to do the best he can. He puts on these plays regularly.
But Los Angeles has no other defensive endgame capable of rushing a passer. Despite Greg Gaines’ two sacks, the Rams defensive line didn’t always get home fast enough to disrupt the opposing pass game. For perspective, Los Angeles had the following sacks:
- 2021: 50.0 (3rd in NFL)
- 2020: 53.0 (2nd in NFL)
- 2019: 50.0 (4th in NFL)
- 2018: 41.0 (15th in the NFL)
- 2017: 48.0 (4th in NFL)
The Rams hit 38 sacks, the lowest in the Sean McVeigh era. The problem isn’t the loss of von Miller or the scheme because the Rams didn’t have him in 2020 and half of 2021. Los Angeles has also used the same setup since 2020 with Brandon Staley.
Les Sneed and Sean McVeigh will need to get creative on how to rebuild the pass rush because they’re poised to lose E’Shon Robinson and Greg Gaines on the loose.
In terms of running play, the Rams lost to E’Shon Robinson (knee) due to an injury in the first half. After he left, the Saints quickly moved the ball between tackles.
Week 11 grade: B-, Seasonal rating: C+, Trend: Very slightly up
Bobby Wagner: 90.1* (+1.3), Ernest Jones: 72.3(-1.4), Travin Howard: AT, Christian Roseboom: DNP, Jake Hummel: IR, Jake Gervais: 60.0 (DNP)
Bobby Wagner again led the team in tackles with 11 (four solos). Bobby Wagner is doing everything in his power to lead the team during this time. You can only hope that his lead is passed on to the boys who return next year. Los Angeles will need Ernest Jones, Jordan Fuller, Kobe Durant and a few others to fill more prominent roles.
Week 11 grade: B, Seasonal rating: B+, Trend: Neutral
Leonard Floyd: 69.3 (+3.9), Justin Hollins: 53.2 (-1.2), Terrell Lewis: 47.2 (-1.6), Daniel Hardy: IR
Leonard Floyd has registered two more sacks for five in his last four games.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Rams have released Justin Hollins. With very few rushers on the team, Hollins’ release is surprising to say the least. Terrell Lewis will be the starting player.
Daniel Hardy could be activated soon, adding depth to the position.
Week 11 grade: B-, Seasonal rating: FROM-, Trend: Neutral
Jalen Ramsey: 82.2(-1.9), Troy Hill: 70.6(-3.7), David Long Jr.: 57.3 (-0.6), Robert Rochell: 58.1 (DNP), Derion Kendrick: 45.7 (-0.1), Kobe Durant: 52.1 (DNP), Grant Haley: 70.8 (IR)
Secondary Los Angeles was set on fire by Andy Dalton in three touchdowns. Jalen Ramsey couldn’t keep up with Chris Olav.
David Long, Jr. and Troy Hill had poor plays, each scoring in the bottom five on defense. Troy Hill made one mistake. One thing I noticed about this group is that, with the exception of Ramsey, they are not very physically developed.
Week 11 grade: F, Seasonal rating: D, Trend: mild to moderate
Nick Scott: 67.5 (+0.1), Taylor Rapp: 63.9 (-1.7), Jordan Fuller: 60.5 (IR), Russian yeast: 70.6 (+2.0), Quentin Lake: DNP
Taylor Rapp made a bad angle and scored a touchdown in the red zone. He had five tackles (three solos) and one pass deflection.
If Weddle is in this position it’s 2nd and 7th but we have Taylor Rapp making this game another 1st loss our second player is full of Taylor Rapp other than Ramsey it’s not the coach it’s the staff . pic.twitter.com/pxGOgqWzdD
— Corey Van Victor (@CNote_100RR) November 20, 2022
Rapp’s future on the team could be in jeopardy if Quentin Lake is ready. The Rams have decided to cut Darrell Henderson, Justin Hollins and Kendall Blanton, three players who will move to free agency in 2023.
Nick Scott registered five tackles (two solo).
Week 11 grade: D, Seasonal rating: D+, Trend: slightly down
Riley Dixon: 82.6* (-1.2), Matt Gay: 79.3 (+6.7)
Matt Gay was 2/2 on field goals with 58 yards. Gay increased his field goal percentage to 93.3% for the year.
Riley Dixon punted six times for 286 yards (average 47.7), with one punt landing within 20. Dixon tended to overtake the punt’s cover as Rashid Shahid (NO) returned the punt four times for 40 yards.
Brandon Powell fired back for 34 yards.
Week 11 grade: B+, Seasonal rating: B+, Trend: Neutral
Coordinators – Raheem Morris and Joe DeCamillis
Raheem Morris made bad game plans for weeks on end. Quarterbacks like Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton shouldn’t be hitting 27 points in a week. The defense didn’t look as pliable as expected. Against weaker quarterbacks, the emphasis should be on blitz and tighter coverage.
The special teams played fairly, but there were several untimely penalties. This week, the Rams held up the ball during a side trick that wiped out a confident response from Jalen Ramsey. Another penalty was a gunner who ran out of bounds without being compelled.
Week 11 grade: F (Morris)FROM- (DeCamillis)
Seasonal class: FROM- (Morris), B- (DeCamillis)
Trend: Moderate descending (Morris), slightly down (DeCamillis)