The LA Rams may have one of the league’s great offenses, but it’s a challenge the Bears‘ defense is ready for originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com
The dominance of the Los Angeles Ram’s offense has been well-documented. In their second year running under the Sean McVay-Jared Goff-Todd Gurley trio, they’ve ranked:
- 2nd in total yards per game (439)
- 2nd in points per game (34.9)
- 4th in passing yards per game (300.5)
- 4th in rushing yards per game (139.4)
They’ve scored above 50 once, above 40 once, and above 30 eight times. What makes their offense especially unique, however, is how they go about running all those high-octane plays.
According to Sharp Football Stats, the Rams run a whopping 98 percent of their offensive plays out of 11 personnel group. Out of the Rams’ 438 offensive plays, 430 have come in three wide reciever sets. The next highest percentage of 11 peronnel grouping belongs to the Miami Dolphins, who only run it 84 percent of the time. What may seem like a predictive offense is obviously anything but.
“[McVay’s] done a great job obviously,” Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio said on Thursday. “I like that he’s got a simple but yet very effective offense that creates conflicts for the defense, that they marry their run game and passing game together in a such a really good fashion. I’ve always been impressed with him. I remember a couple years ago, not too long before he got hired by the Rams, I was speaking to a general manager in the league and he was asking me about offensive coaches to consider because he thought might be looking for a head coach and I mentioned his name to him. That’s how highly I thought of him back then even before the success he’s had.”
When asked about what specifically the Rams’ excelled at, the longtime NFL coach quickly brought up the playaction.
“”They use it a lot and they’re very effective with it,” he said. “Their whole first- and second-down offense is based on the quarterback being under center the majority of the time and they marry their run game and passing game together than anybody has, and they’re very productive with it.”
Very productive might be selling it lightly. Only one team — New Orleans — averages more yards per drive (42.11) than the Rams (41.87). Scheming certainly plays an important role, but having Pro-Bowl caliber players at almost every skill position makes the offense easier dress up.
“Now schematically in a game, you see it,” Matt Nagy said. “The numbers speak for themselves. [McVay] has a quarterback, he’s got players. I said it yesterday: Players are what make the plays, but he also does a great job of manipulating everything and making it work.”
So how, against a scheme drawn up by the NFL’s sharpest offensive mind, built out of Pro-Bowlers, do the Bears plan stop LA on Sunday night? For a Bears’ side that leads the league is almost every defensive category, the answer is surprisingly simple.
“I would just say it’s trusting our technique,” rookie linebacker Roquan Smith added. “It’s trusting that our coaches will gives us the right calls and playing out all our techniques.”