Rams News: Cory Littleton Explains How He Was Able To Intercept Cam Newton

The Los Angeles Rams were able to kick the 2019 NFL season off on the right foot against the Carolina Panthers thanks to a crucial fourth-quarter interception by linebacker Cory Littleton.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton provided the defense with a unique challenge in the season opener. They proved to be more than up to the task by forcing three turnovers in the game.

Littleton emerged to be the central force behind their takeaways after forcing a fumble in the first quarter as well. However, it was his clutch interception that helped secure the 30-27 victory.

According to Stu Jackson of the team’s official website, he was just glad he was able to bring it down this time:

“We’re in a zone defense, Cam is a readable guy. He gave me an opportunity, I read it perfectly, and I actually caught the ball today,” said Littleton, who smiled and clapped his hands in gratitude. “Don’t catch them in practice, but I catch them in a game.”

Head coach Sean McVay shared plenty of praise for Littleton’s performance as he develops into one of the bright young stars on the team:

“Great athleticism,” McVay said of Littleton. “A guy that can really compete. Defending the run, defending the pass, he’s always active.”

There is certainly plenty of truth to McVay’s comments. Littleton played a central role in the Rams’ attempts to contain running back Christian McCaffrey. Although he understandably had his hands full with McCaffrey, he still finished with quite the stat line after registering a team-high 14 tackles to go along with his two takeaways.

There had been plenty of speculation regarding the state of the linebacker corps coming into the season. Littleton was only entering his second year as a full-fledged starter after making his bones on special teams. Meanwhile, the departure of Mark Barron left a notable void alongside him on the inside.

Fortunately, the 25-year-old was able to step up with perhaps the biggest game of his career. The timing of his performance could not have come at a better time after the Rams placed a second-round restricted free agent tender on him this offseason and he is off to a solid start in earning a potentially lucrative payday.

More importantly, Littleton’s emergence provides Los Angeles with some much-needed stability on the inside with their current scheme. Unfortunately, things will not get any easier with the New Orleans Saints coming to town. He will likely now be tasked with trying to contain another elite running back in Alvin Kamara.

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