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Rams Staying Focused on Ball Security

Posted Nov 16, 2017

L.A. has seven takeaways and zero giveaways since the bye week, and will look to continue preventing giveaways against a stout Minnesota defense.

In the two weeks since their bye, the Rams have established a +7 turnover margin.

Los Angeles’ defense had three takeaways against the Giants and four against Houston last Sunday.

On the flip side, the Rams’ offense — and special teams — has played clean the last two weeks with zero giveaways.

Head coach Sean McVay often says, “Other than points, there is no greater indicator of wins and losses in this league” than turnovers and the turnover margin. In fact, he said it again on Wednesday.

And that’s why when facing a strong, complex Minnesota defense that managed 27 takeaways in 2016, it’s as important as ever to continue to be solid in ball security.

“You stress it every single week, but I think going against a great opponent like that, you always talk about that improvement and especially against a great opponent like the Minnesota Vikings, that’s definitely at a premium,” McVay said. “The thing that’s so challenging about them is they can hit home with the four-man rush and play loaded zone behind it. Or they can give you a bunch of different issues with some of their fire zones and different pressures that they present in a lot of those known passing situations.”

Quarterback Jared Goff has been particularly solid when it comes to ball security over the last two games. In that stretch, he’s completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 666 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions or fumbles — good for a 143.7 passer rating.

And while Goff in many ways sets the tone in that area — he touches the ball on every play — all of the Rams’ skill players are involved and take the importance of limiting turnovers to heart.

“I think just our ability to continue to protect the ball when we get into those traffic situations, our receivers and running backs have done such a good job,” Goff said. “Honestly, it’s something that we’ve emphasized in the building is it’s all about the ball and continually emphasizing that and continually working on it in practice not just saying it, but working on it on the practice field and setting up drills to work on it has been huge for our team.”

So even though the Vikings have talent at every level on defense, Goff said the Rams are not going to get out of their weekly rhythm when it comes to game planning for their Week 11 opponent.

“We’re going to prepare for them like any other team that we play every week,” Goff said. “Obviously, knowing they are a good defense and have a tremendous pass rush and are really good is something we’ll be aware of. But, no it doesn’t change our preparation.”