The Los Angeles Rams successfully managed to secure their sweep of the NFC East with a dominant win over the Washington Football Team in Week 5. Although the team may have been clicking on all cylinders, it was the breakout performance of linebacker Troy Reeder that managed to steal the show.
Reeder was tasked with filling the void left by injured linebacker Micah Kiser. While he had always enjoyed modest production during his time as a fill-in, this would be a day to remember for him as he finished with 11 tackles and 3.0 sacks in the 30-10 win.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald had set the tone by manhandling the Washington offensive line on his way to 4.0 sacks and four tackles, three of which came for a loss. Even though such dominance is to be expected from Donald, it seems it helped pay major dividends for Reeder this time.
Reeder credits the play of Donald and the front-seven for contributing to his big day, via Stu Jackson of the team’s website:
“I think pretty much all three of them were, you could give a lot of credit to our actual defensive lineman and pass rushers who were just getting after the quarterback all day and kind of flushing them out,” Reeder said during his postgame video conference. “And then, as the next guy in there, capitalized on it, but everybody was getting after him today. So really good defensive game, and overall teamwork.”
Reeder added that he will continue to proceed with business as usual when it comes to his role on a weekly basis:
“I prepare every week like I’m going to be in the game, and support the guys who are and help them prepare,” Reeder said.
Reeder may be trying to downplay his efforts being the result of a stellar outing from the Rams’ defense, he certainly deserves plenty of praise for being able to fill in at such a high level. This should help him establish an integral role in the rotation regardless of Kiser’s health.
Reeder’s emergence should at the very least help provide some assurance that the Rams have quality depth in their linebacker corps. After all, this group had been a point of concern heading into the 2020 NFL season.
Furthermore, L.A. was also able to once again address their struggles in the pass rush department with back-to-back strong performances following a slow start to the year. They will look to keep it going on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6.