The St. Louis Rams Need To Make Changes At Offensive Line


One group that has struggled this season for the St. Louis Rams is the offensive line which is disappointing considering how much the front office has invested in it. Since Davis has taken over at quarterback he has already been sacked 10 times this season. With an offensive line that includes Jake Long, Rodger Saffold, and Joe Barksdale, that shouldn’t happen.

Of the 10 quarterbacks who have already hit the double-digit sack mark, Davis has the second fewest drop backs, yet has been sacked 10 times and hit three times. Many times against the Eagles, Davis was under pressure immediately, and although some of the problem was him not making the pre snap read, other times it was imply his guys not blocking.

The pressure obviously hasn’t affected Davis as he has played extremely well despite only three career starts under his belt. The offensive line is also playing a negative part in the run game as well. The Rams were the 19th ranked run offense last season, and currently sit at 26 in 2014.

More from Rams News

The Rams are one of two teams this season who have yet to have a 20 yard run. The offensive line simply isn’t creating holes and isn’t getting to the second level.

At times this season the Rams have gotten manhandled up front. It happened against the Eagles, and it happened when the Dallas Cowboys made their comeback. On a key 4th and one against the Cowboys, Stacy got stopped in the backfield. It wasn’t a great play design, but Saffold also didn’t make his block.

The Rams got beat up front in four of their six division games last season. Headed into a stretch where they play division opponents in back to back weeks and four times in five weeks, the Rams are going to have to do something different, because as of right now, they don’t stand a chance.

According to Pro Football Focus, guard Davin Joseph is the worst graded guard in the NFC, is the second worst in the NFL in pass blocking,  has allowed the most quarterback hits, and fourth most quarterback hurries. He also has committed the third most penalties among guards this season.

The problem is only beginning.

According to Pro Football Focus the Rams have the fourth worst center in the NFL in Scott Wells. Wells is graded the third worst in pass blocking  and grades out as the seventh worst against the run. He has also allowed the most quarterback hurries among centers. Wells was a good center in his prime, but those days are long gone, he simply cannot get the job done anymore.

Jake Long hasn’t played his best football either as he has allowed the fourth most sacks and third most quarterback hurries, but at this point he is enough to get the job done.

As for Joseph and Wells, the Rams really need to be worried about them and should consider making a change. I realize they are veteran guys with experience, but their prime is past them.

Courstey NFL Game Rewind and Sean Tomlinson of the Bleacher Report

In order to compete with the NFC West the Rams are going to have to win the battle up front, and that is something that neither Joseph or Wells have shown they can do. In order to compete in the division the Rams are going to have to make changes.

The Rams have players that could stand a better chance in Greg Robinson and Tim Barnes and they should be the one starting in place of Wells and Joseph.

I’ve wrote about this before and I will reiterate it. Why Greg Robinson isn’t starting in front of Joseph is beyond me. The stats above don’t say that he is playing overly impressive. The Rams drafted Robinson number two overall for a reason and it’s about time the Rams start him. He very well could be the best offensive lineman on the roster.

Joseph played against the 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals last season with the Buccaneers, and graded out among the worst guards in two of the three weeks. His best grade being a 0.3 against the 49ers. Robinson hasn’t played yet this season, but he has to give you a better chance than Joseph.

The same goes for the center position. The Rams have a center that played last season in Tim Barnes, and Barnes didn’t play half bad in the games that he played in while Wells was hurt. At season’s end, Barnes had a better overall grade than Wells.

Against NFC West opponents Barnes didn’t play great in three game, however, against the 49ers he had sixth best grade of the week. Wells on the other hand also played three games against the NFC West and his best grade came in week one against the Cardinals where he had a great of 0.0. In the other two games he graded among the worst for the week.

With the way Wells is playing right now, it might be worth giving the younger Barnes some more experience and giving him an opportunity. It may not work, but as of right now it might be worth a shot.

The Rams need to make some changes on the offensive line as it is hurting what they are able to do offensively. Against the 49ers and Seahawks in the next two weeks those problems will be exploited if they aren’t fixed.