Through two preseason games, the Los Angeles Rams remain winless and have one more chance to change that when the take on the Denver Broncos in their final tune up before the start of the 2023 season.
The Rams have largely struggled to put together consistent efforts on both sides of the field as Sean McVay and the coaching staff evaluate all the young players on the roster. There have been some bright moments, but for the most part it’s clear that the team’s depth is not near what it was in previous years.
Meanwhile, the Broncos are also seeking their first win of the preseason though they have been learning new head coach Sean Payton’s system. Los Angeles and Denver had joint practices this week and both squads are hoping to get an edge over one another in order to start the regular season on a high note.
Rams Offense vs. Broncos Defense
The Rams offensive line fared much better against the Las Vegas Raiders as they only gave up on sack. Stetson Bennett has done well when given time in the pocket, though there are still several plays where he needs to extend plays with his legs due to pressure.
Aside from the pass blocking, the run blocking also looked better which led to chunk yardage from Ronnie Rivers. Being able to establish the run is a key concept for McVay’s offensive scheme to work, so expect that to be a focus against the Broncos’ defensive line.
Rams Defense vs. Broncos Offense
Defensively, Los Angeles has been torched as they’ve allowed 34 points in both of their losses. The biggest issue has been the pass rush as they’ve failed to get into the backfield very often. Keir Thomas has been a rare bright spot, but the Rams will need to see more from Michael Hoecht and Kobie Turner to feel confident about their edge presence.
The secondary had a much better showing last week with several pass break ups on third down, though they have been prone to explosives leading to scoring drives.
Keys to Victory
1. Shore up the special teams coverage
All the attention has been on the defensive struggles, but special teams has also been a sore spot. Rookie punter Ethan Evans has a strong leg, but opposing units have been able to gain good field position.
Evans’ punts have mostly been line drives, so giving the football some more air would help in giving the coverage unit more time.
2. Create more turnovers
The Rams were able to create a turnover against the Raiders when they returned an interception for a score, but after that they largely struggled to move the football. Defensively, Los Angeles needs to create more opportunities for the offense in order to give themselves more cushion.