The Los Angeles Rams defense, which named themselves “The Mob Squad”
last season, lately has been playing as “The Mop Squad!”
In the season opener, “The Mob Squad” surrendered 28 points to the leagues second worst team and division rivaled San Francisco 49ers. The following weeks playing against the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Bucs, the defensive unit were looking like their old-selves.
In week four, decimated with injuries, and a horrendous offensive play, the Rams young defense was beat at every level whether by run or pass, from a newly rejuvenated Buffalo Bills offense. Next, a second half complete meltdown to the Detroit Lions that seen a Rams defense look completely out of sync.
Weeks eight through eleven, the defense was back on track, shutting down the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins. Despite losing three out of the four games, the defense simply carried this Rams teams with again no offensive continuity available. Quarterbacks Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill both had just played monster games the week prior to the Rams, however, “The Mob Squad,” contained both quarterback in those losses.
Weeks 12-13, the football world watched the “The Mob Squad” simply look as if they were in pre-season form. They were picked apart by a New Orleans Saints offense whether it was pass or run. Drew Bree’s threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. At times on the sideline, players and media witnessed Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and Rams Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams arguing on the sidelines.
The next week didn’t fair any better, as the Rams defense was torched once again by the New England Patriots. Establishing an early running game, Tom Brady simply played catch with his receivers throughout the game even without his injured star tight-end Pat Gronkowski.
Today the Rams will play against a pass happy offense of the Atlanta Falcons. Led by starting quarterback Matt Ryan, he will be playing without his special weapon Julio Jones, whom is still affected by an foot injury. Also out, is the other staring wide-receiver Mohammed Sanu, with an apparent groin injury. But, don’t get too tempted to feel that the Rams will have a cake walk; from the recent emergence of receiver Taylor Gabriel, he will provide issues for the Rams secondary.
The Mob Squad front seven will need to be concerned with the Falcons run game. The Falcons has two very talented young running backs in Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman, both of whom are not only are threats in the run game but also as pass receivers.
The Rams defense simply can’t allow Matt Ryan to throw for over 300 yards, and yield over 200 yards of rushing. If this defense expects to be respected early, they will need to get to Matt Ryan and harrase him often. The pass rush has been simply in-effective as of late, and when the blitz is called the defense is simply getting beat. If these issues are not corrected today, well lets just say, “THE MOP SQUAD has showen up again.