Early in the offseason shortly after Jeff Fisher was named as head coach of the St. Louis Rams and had appointed his coaching staff with Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, many were concerned that his absence would trouble the young defense all season long. That has turned out to be quite the opposite so far as Fisher’s coordinator by committee strategy has worked just fine. He is still hesitant to crown his defense however as they have some significant challenges coming in the next two contests.
While the defense has certainly been much better than anyone could have imagined, Fisher cautions everyone when they ask just how good he believes his defense to be. He agreed that they are improved and said: “But we have a lot of work to do and we have, clearly over the next two weekends, we have significant challenges. So, ask me that question again after the next three games.”
The two games that he is alluding to are of course this weekend with the Green Bay Packers and then the following game across the pond in London against the New England Patriots. Facing two NFL MVP caliber quarterbacks in back-to-back weeks is tough enough for any defense, but a young team with no true coordinator will face a significant challenge for sure.
Aaron Rodgers this week presents the threat of pinpoint accuracy while still being mobile enough to hurt you when he gets outside of the pocket. Tom Brady is more of a prototypical pocket passer, but his surgical accuracy and cerebral approach is difficult for defenses to prepare for.
There’s no doubt that Fisher is right in saying that we will know a lot more about this Rams defense after the Pats game and into their bye week. Not only will it be a tall order for the team to face these quarterbacks in successive weeks, but doing so when traveling to foreign soil is even more of a challenge. This young defense has been impressive thus far, but let’s hold off on declaring them a successful resurrection project for a little while longer.
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