St. Louis Rams: Cornerbacks Will Take Them to the Playoffs

Justin HartlingCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2012

Cortland Finnegan takes home a pick-six against the Detriot Lions
Cortland Finnegan takes home a pick-six against the Detriot LionsDave Reginek/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams lost their first game of this NFL season 27-23 to the Detroit Lions. However, this close game has proven one thing about the new-look Rams—the defense will be the game changer.

The Rams defense intercepted Matthew Stafford three times during the contest including one returned for a touchdown by Cortland Finnegan in his first game as a Ram.

The defensive line has some issues to resolve, but Robert Quinn registered one sack and he seems to have really turned his game up. With Quinn showing signs of developing into the feared pass rusher the Rams envisioned him when they drafted him 14th overall; as well as Chris Long being one of the most under-appreciated players in the NFL, it seems as the defensive line is going to be able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks without any extra blitzers.

However, the most telling stat of the Rams turnaround is the Lions touchdowns. All three of the Lions touchdowns came from running backs. The completely new defensive backfield for the Rams proved they can handle any receiver in the NFL. Calvin Johnson did go for six receptions and 111 yards but did not bring in a touchdown. Also, 51 of those yards came off one reception.

In fact, the Rams cornerbacks proved that they are going to be an elite group. Finnegan ended with 10 tackles and a pick-six while Jenoris Jenkins ended the day with six tackles and an interception. Add the fact that the top-three tacklers of the day were all DB’s (Finnegan, Craig Dahl, Quintin Mikell) and it seems like the Rams defense is going to put wins on the board.

On a day that showed that the Rams offense needs some work, a light at the end of the tunnel appeared in the form of the Rams defensive backs. If the Rams are going to make the playoffs, it is going to rest squarely on the soldiers of Cortland Finnegan and Jenoris Jenkins.