Image by Rachel Wong
Three games down, 14 to go.
In just three weeks of a new season, it seems like the Los Angeles Rams never left Southern California. For the Rams, having a fresh start by moving into a new city must have been a great feeling. And to make things even better, they won two of their first three games to kick off their season in a new home.
Under Head Coach Jeff Fisher, the franchise has entered the season at .500 in the first two games (1-1). However, over the past four seasons, they have dropped game three to go 1-2.
That was certainly not the case for the Rams on Sunday, when they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37-32 at Raymond James Stadium. Looking at the past two victories for the Rams, the defense has certainly led the way against one of the best teams in the league and one of the most promising up-and-coming teams. Against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, the defense caused two sacks and delivered nine hits against Russell Wilson.
Despite being short-handed on defense against Tampa Bay due to injuries and the ejection of defensive end Eugene Sims, the defense came up clutch in crunch time. With Los Angeles holding on to a four-point lead with the Bucaneers at the Rams’ 13-yard-line early in the fourth quarter, two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn stripped the ball from Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston leading to a fumble that was converted by defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks for a two-score lead.
Later in the fourth quarter, with the Rams still holding on to a late lead, Winston had a chance to bring the ball in for a touchdown within the Rams’ 15-yard line, but Quinn made another spectacular play to take down Winston from behind to clinch the victory for the Rams.
The Rams defense sacked Winston six times Sunday in the victory, but the real reason for celebration for Los Angeles is their standing in the NFC West. With a record of 2-1, the Rams sit atop their division in a tie with the Seahawks and own the tiebreaker in the series matchup. What’s more, the Arizona Cardinals who were chosen by experts to win the division have struggled early on, losing two of their first three games and will face the Rams in Week 4. Also, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is currently dealing with a knee injury as well as a minor ankle injury.
Although other teams within the NFC West are already facing problems of their own, the Rams have some in-house issues to address. What do they do with 2016 No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, who currently stands on the sidelines during games? When does receiver Nelson Spruce return from the sidelines? Can the Rams stay consistent this season?
Despite all the questions and problems the team has faced, the Los Angeles Rams seem to have found a comfortable spot for the moment.
Follow Arthur Puu on Twitter: @arthurpuu