Rams defense closes the deal in win over Cleveland…

The Los Angeles Rams secured a significant 36-19 victory over the Cleveland Browns, propelled by an impressive defensive performance. The Rams’ defense showcased a blend of seasoned veterans and promising rookies, contributing to the team’s rise to second place in the NFC West.

Despite the Browns’ resilience, the Rams’ defense remained steadfast, particularly in the critical moments of the game. Notably, the Browns were within a point with just under seven minutes left, but the Rams thwarted their attempts in the subsequent three possessions, allowing only -20 net yards, an interception, and a safety.

In analyzing the game, the Rams adhered to their bend-but-don’t-break defensive strategy, maintaining proximity to season averages in yards allowed, scores, and third-down conversions. However, challenges persisted in conceding big plays of 20+ yards, with the Rams giving up five such plays during the game.

A drive-by-drive breakdown provides insights into the defensive efforts:

Opening Drive: Browns capitalized on an opening drive, scoring a touchdown.

Drive #2: Quick three-and-out for the Rams, holding the Browns to a field goal.

Drive #3: Browns favored the air, resulting in a touchdown. Rams responded with their own touchdown.

Drive #4: Defensive tackles Bobby Brown and Kobie Turner made impactful plays, leading to a punt.

Drive #5: Another three-and-out for the Browns, showcasing the Rams’ defensive prowess.

Drive #6: Rams forced a third three-and-out, demonstrating defensive efficiency.

Drive #7: Browns exploited a double move, gaining 42 yards, but Rams tightened up in the red zone, forcing a field goal.

Drive #8: Browns settled for a field goal after a lengthy drive with red zone resistance from the Rams.

Drive #9: Browns tied the game with a field goal after a methodical drive, showcasing resilience.

Drive #10: Rams regained the lead with a crucial interception by safety John Johnson.

Drive #11: Rams successfully defended against the Browns’ attempts, leading to a turnover on downs.

Drive #12: With a 15-point lead, the Rams’ defensive line intensified pressure, resulting in an intentional grounding penalty and two sacks for a safety.

Afterthoughts include observations on the Browns’ run/pass ratio, which deviated from expectations, and insights into the Rams’ linebacker rotation. Additionally, concerns were raised about the lack of depth and rotation on the defensive edge. Despite challenges, the Rams’ defense proved resilient, setting the stage for an upcoming showdown against the Baltimore Ravens.

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