The Rams defense looked dominant in their first game against the Colts this past Sunday. The secondary played incredibly well, capitalizing on Scott Tolzien’s presence at quarterback. The secondary was lead by cornerback Truman Johnson and safety Lamarcus Joyner, who both returned interceptions for touchdowns. On top of one forced turnover, Johnson was also able to force a fumble. Johnson’s performance set the tone for the entire game, taking his interception to the house on the Rams first defensive possession of the young season. The Rams defensive backfield looked shaky throughout the preseason, but that was not the case in week one as these players and others came through for the team in a big way.
Johnson named NFC Defensive Player of the Week
Johnson put up a performance that is rare for most players, especially in the first week of the regular season. He was rewarded by being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week. The team that wins the turnover battle in an NFL game typically goes on to win, and Johnson recorded two for his team on Sunday. The fumble that Johnson forced was pure effort, not giving up on a play that was seemingly over. As T.Y. Hilton headed to the ground Johnson took a swipe out the ball and it came loose, he proceeded to jump on it. As if the momentum was not already far enough in the Rams direction, Johnson just pushed it further with that play.
Johnson and Joyner named to Pro Football Focus Team of the Week
Pro Football Focus grades every player that gets the required amount of game action, the top players at each position are named to the Team of the Week. Johnson and Joyner both made the cut this week, likely aided mightily by their defensive touchdowns. Joyner also went on to receive the highest overall defensive grade at any position. This is a sign of great things to come for the Rams, as they have one of the best defensive fronts in the league. Yes, the Rams faced Scott Tolzien, but they can only face the opponent that is on the schedule. They did exactly that, and they did it very well.
The Rams secondary was anchored by Johnson and Joyner on Sunday, especially with the early exit of Kayvon Webster due to injury. Nonetheless, it appeared the Rams did not really need Webster in the end. He will likely be healthy and ready to go this week against a talented Redskins passing attack. Hopefully Johnson and Joyner will continue to play at such a high level, even against legitimate NFL quarterbacks.