We all know that the Los Angeles Rams’ defense is a sight to behold. Being led by reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh, and the cornerback duo of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, the Rams can definitely strike fear into any offense. Although Los Angeles possesses a lot of star power, they have shown some vulnerability against talented offenses.
Of the 12 games the Rams have played this season, they have surrendered 30-plus points five times. Each of those instances occurred while going against teams that are currently in the playoff hunt this year. The Minnesota Vikings put up 31 points against L.A. in Week 4. The Rams allowed the Seattle Seahawks to score 31 points in both of their battles this season. In their only defeat of the year, L.A. couldn’t prevent the New Orleans Saints from putting 45 points on the board. And everyone knows about the 51 points the Kansas City Chiefs scored in the Rams’ narrow victory in Week 11.
With all of this being said, there may be a chance that the Chicago Bears, another team in the playoff hunt, could do the same this Sunday night. As great as this Rams defensive roster looks, their defensive rankings reflect something different. Entering Week 14, Los Angeles is ranked 18th in total defense, giving up an average of 367.3 yards per game. In addition, the Rams are 17th in pass defense (248.9), and 18th against the run (118.4). As far as points go, L.A. is 19th in the league in averaged points allowed (24.8).
Offensively, the Bears’ average of 28.7 points per game is ranked fifth in the NFL entering Week 14—granted their five defensive touchdowns has a little something to do with that. Regardless, Chicago’s offense has a number of weapons, and they have shown their ability to make big plays. And with the return of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears’ offense will have a much better chance of helping their team come away with their biggest win of 2018. Trubisky missed the last two games with an injured shoulder, and has fully participated in the team’s practices thus far this week.
More importantly, the play calling by head coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will dictate just how successful the Bears are against the Rams’ defense. Knowing that Nagy was a part of the Chiefs last season, one can only wonder if he will devise a similar game plan to what Kansas City did to score those 51 points against Los Angeles just three weeks ago. Chicago’s personnel is somewhat similar to the Chiefs, and they could potentially cause the same problems that Kansas City did.
Another thing that the Bears’ offense can benefit from is their defense. Chicago is ranked fourth in total defense (317.9 yards per game), and has given up an average of 20.1 points per game (fourth in the NFL). Not to mention, they lead the NFL with 21 interceptions and five defensive touchdowns. The Bears’ offense has taken advantage of the turnovers caused by their defense, and if the defense continues to help put the offense in good situations, the offense could find it easier to put points on the scoreboard.
This game, without a doubt, has the makings of a playoff preview. A win over the Rams will put the entire league on notice that the Bears are for real. Furthermore, a strong output by the offense will cement the fact that Chicago is on its way to being a complete football team.