Although the Los Angeles Rams defense was able to revert back to its formidable state against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13, it was the first career interception for rookie safety Taylor Rapp that served as the highlight of the day.
The milestone certainly did not come easy for Rapp after his first interception on quarterback Kyler Murray was called back due to a pass interference by cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. He then failed to haul in another pass attempt by Murray that went right through his hands.
Fortunately, the rookie was able to make up for it on his next opportunity by returning it the other way for a touchdown. It is safe to say that he was happy with how it ultimately worked out for him.
Rapp admits it was special to cap off his first career interceptions with a touchdown, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“First one being a pick-six is pretty special,” Rapp said with a wide smile. “I’m going to remember it forever.”
Rapp added that he has only gotten more comfortable throughout the course of the 2019 NFL season:
“I’ve been able to feel more comfortable game in, game out,” Rapp said. “Keep progressing each game. Now I feel like I’m out there making plays, playing loose.”
Rapp’s comments are indicative of the confidence that he is gaining due to experiencing the grind of a full season as an integral member of the defense. It is sure to pay huge dividends for him as he looks to take that next step in his development over these last four games of his promising rookie campaign.
Rapp’s potential emergence will undoubtedly go a long way for the defense as a whole moving forward after all the substantial changes they made this season. The Rams had been coming off an abysmal performance on both sides of the ball in their embarrassing loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12, however, they each managed to bounce back by clicking on all cylinders in the dominant 34-7 win against the Cardinals.
While there was some concern about Murray’s versatility posing the same threat that quarterback Lamar Jackson did, Los Angeles was able to address it by providing consistent pressure while keeping him contained. The back-to-back matchups against mobile quarterbacks should prepare them well for their attempts to slow down Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in Week 14.
It will be interesting to see if Rapp can build off his career day in this must-win NFC West showdown.