4 challenges Trey Lance will face vs. Rams (if 49ers start him)
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: Trey Lance might see a lot of blitzing from Rams
One of the positive maturation points from Trey Lance since his first NFL start way back in Week 1 of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs to now is how well he’s developed against the pass rush.
The Chiefs elected to blitz Lance often during that exhibition game, sacking him four times, yet Lance showcased a stronger ability to navigate against pressure versus Houston in Week 17.
That’s good. But Los Angeles will likely give the rookie some different defensive looks if he’s on the field this Sunday.
The Texans don’t blitz a lot, a blitz rate of just 19.7 percent which is subsequently fourth lowest in the NFL so far this season, and perhaps the lack of a four-man pass rush resulted in Lance taking only one sack and two standard non-scrambling quarterback hits during the game.
In contrast, the Rams aren’t afraid of dialing up blitz packages, and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has called for a blitz 26.4 percent of the time, 10th most in the NFL ahead of Week 18.
If Lance starts, Los Angeles will likely test out the rookie’s ability to react quickly against this kind of pressure, something many a first-year signal-caller can struggle with until he gets fully acclimated to the speed of the pro game.
And considering the Rams boast a strength on the back end of their defense, it might wind up influencing the next challenge Lance could face.