Los Angeles’ defense was the best in the league last year.
It hasn’t taken a step back to start the 2021 season.
The unit forced a pair of takeaways while stopping Chicago’s offense on fourth down twice in the first quarter. The first fourth-down stop led to a 53-yard Matt Gay field goal. The second led to another field goal, putting the Rams ahead 13-0 with 11:39 left in the second quarter.
But the player of the series was cornerback Jalen Ramsey. When quarterback Justin Fields entered the game for a second situational snap and handed the ball to receiver Marquise Goodwin on a reverse, Ramsey didn’t fall for the window dressing and stopped Goodwin for a 2-yard loss.
Then on the next snap, Ramsey fought through a pair of blockers to stop a receiver screen to Darnell Mooney for a 2-yard loss. A play later, linebacker Justin Hollins strip-sacked Dalton on fourth down to give the Rams the ball back at their own 42.
While Los Angeles’ offense converted a fourth-and-1 from the Chicago 32 — Matthew Stafford rolled to his right and found receiver Van Jefferson for 13 yards and a first down — the home team could only net a field goal. The Rams had first-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but running back Darrel Henderson got stuffed on first down for a 2-yard loss.
A pair of Stafford incompletions induced the Rams to settle for a 22-yard field goal and go up by 13.