Rams CB Aqib Talib says defense ‘freestyled’ against Jon Gruden in first half
For a moment, it appeared as though the Oakland Raiders were going to give the Los Angeles Rams a run for their money in the 2018 NFL season opener. Fortunately, cornerback Aqib Talib and the defense were able to bounce back in the second half against head coach Jon Gruden.
The Raiders’ offense had diced up the Rams in the first half. However, Talib said during an appearance on NFL Total Access that it was mainly due to a lack of a definitive game plan coming out.
“We kind of freestyled coming out. We didn’t know how Gruden was going to attack us on defense. Our coaches did a great job adjusting and we were able to hold them to zero points in the second half and our offense got going and, big win for us.”
Oakland looked sharp on its few first drives. Not only were they able to move the ball on the ground, but tight end Jared Cook looked like a man on a mission to get redemption on his old team. Although they managed to dice the defense up, Los Angeles only gave up 13 points in the first half.
It was all downhill for the Raiders from there. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips made the necessary adjustments to lockdown Gruden’s offense in the second half. They managed to apply hounding pressure on quarterback Derek Carr as he finished the day with three interceptions.
The Rams’ early struggles should come as no surprise. There was plenty of speculation regarding how well this star-studded cast would mesh together. Although it is still a work in progress, it is clear that they have all the necessary tools to make it successful.