A weekly look at what the St. Louis Rams must fix:
It seems like a long time now, but it was only a couple of months ago when a team like the San Francisco 49ers would know that coming to St. Louis for "Monday Night Football" would mean a long night at the office for their offensive line. But when the Niners arrive in town to play the Rams, they'll see a defense that has failed to generate much of a pass rush.
Whether through more organic four-man rushes or the whimsical attempts of coordinator Gregg Williams to rev the pass rush, the Rams simply haven't been able to get home. Through four games, the Rams have sent five or more pass-rushers on 48.6 percent of opponent dropbacks. That's the highest percentage in the league, which would be fine if not for the fact that the Rams have managed just a single sack this season (fewest in the NFL). And that came from defensive tackle Aaron Donald, not from some exotic blitz package.
Despite all the blitzing, the Rams have managed to cause pressure on only 23.9 percent of opponent dropbacks, which is 20th in the NFL. Sure, opponents have taken steps to slow the Rams' pass rush by getting the ball out quickly (2.4 seconds per throw, seventh-fastest in the NFL), not throwing it downfield (6.87 air yards per attempt is third-fewest in the NFL) and simply not throwing it much at all (106 pass attempts against, fewest in the league).
But that wasn't necessarily the case in the Rams' 34-28 loss to Philadelphia. The Eagles attempted 37 passes, and quarterback Nick Foles was in the middle of the pack in terms of getting rid of the ball. Still, the Rams were unable to get to Foles for any sacks, their third such game this season.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been pressured on 28.3 percent of his dropbacks, which is eighth-most in the league. One way for the Rams to take advantage and add to those numbers would be to get more snaps for Donald. According to coaches' review of tape, Donald has four quarterback pressures and four quarterback hits. Starters Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers have combined for five quarterback pressures and one quarterback hit while playing more snaps.