By now, you've likely heard the stat — the Rams have generated 10 takeaways in their last three games.
Los Angeles has six interceptions and four fumble recoveries in that span.
"I think we've got an aggressive group and I think it's coming out in that," defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said on Thursday. "I think takeaways overall throughout the year is pretty good overall. Yeah, it's picked up in the last couple games, which is a good sign."
"We always say we want to to play our best football in December, January, February," safety John Johnson said. "So that's what we're working towards — correcting mistakes, learning from our past games, and growing."
Cornerback Aqib Talib recently said that after Thanksgiving, Phillips gets "in his bag" with defensive schemes — essentially meaning that this is when Phillips has traditionally turned things up to another level in preparation for the playoffs. In practice, Phillips admitted this week that L.A. has been playing more zone coverage, and that is likely a factor in generating more takeaways.
"[W]e've been playing a little more zone and guys are seeing the ball better," Phillips said. "If you play a lot of man-to-man, you don't get as many interceptions, but they don't get as many completions. The other side of it, if you play more zone, they're probably going to get more completions, but hopefully you get the tips and overthrows and interceptions. Now, you can do good in both, but overall, that's the way it works. Both of them are good in certain ways."
Cornerback Marcus Peters has two picks in the last three games, bringing his season total to three. He said this week he's fine with any scheme Phillips wants to call, but did note how he's seen the unit be more effective as of late.
"I'm a ballplayer, man, so it's whatever coach's gonna call, I'm gonna go out there and play it, you feel me? I'm good in both of them," Peters said of playing man vs. zone. "[O]ur motto is 'See ball, get ball' now. You can see how our whole mentality has changed. We've been getting a lot more turnovers. With our pass rush that we've got, with Dante [Fowler] turning up, and then 'AD' [Aaron Donald], and then you've got [Ndamukong] Suh and 'Brock' [Michael Brockers], and then you've got Samson [Ebukam] over there — you've just got all those pieces that's allowing them to make plays. So that's going to help us out."
But when it comes to takeaways, head coach Sean McVay said the Rams must improve at fully capitalizing on the opportunities. That means offensively, Los Angeles needs to score points when given short fields. Last week, for instance the Rams scored only three points off of three takeaways.
"We've got to do a great job of making sure that we use those takeaways as a chance to be able to create points and prefer to come away with touchdowns in those instances," McVay said earlier this week. "They did an excellent job of being able to create those turnovers and that's something that, really, over the last few weeks you can't say enough about how instrumental that's been to them playing good football and giving us a chance to win and being able to win two of those three."
Check out photos of the Rams taking on the Eagles throughout the years.