The LA Rams have to revive the running game if they want to make another run at the Super Bowl in 2020
The LA Rams missed the playoffs in 2019 after playing for the Lombardi Trophy in February. There are many reasons why LA missed the playoffs, ask any Rams fan, but there is one glaring reason. The Rams were simply unable to run the football.
Fans might point to RB Todd Gurley and claim that he has regressed as an NFL starting running back. Others might say that the Rams put more emphasis on the passing game. Maybe both points of view are correct, however, head coach Sean McVay has a new offensive coordinator for 2020.
Statistics tell a cold hard truth. The Rams were an elite passing team and a well below average running team. Perhaps well below average is too nice a description because they were very poor in running the ball.
For example, in 2019, the Rams were ranked 26th in rushing by averaging 93.7 yards per game. Gurley ran for 857 yards in 15 games to average 57.13 yards per game. Most NFL defenses would be satisfied with holding any NFL team to that output. In a normal distribution curve or bell curve, the Rams would earn an “F” in school for their ineffective rushing attack.
Can the LA Rams revive the running attack for 2020?
New offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell needs to instill a sense of aggressiveness into the offensive linemen. The zone blocking scheme has to take power out of running the football. Instead of pushing the defensive lineman off the line of scrimmage, the new emphasis is creating cutback lanes.
Who knows what blocking scheme will emerge in the next five to ten years from now? Still, running the ball is taking it upfield by getting there with more blockers than defenders.
Running back Steven Jackson is the Rams career leading rusher with 10,138 yards. Running back Eric Dickerson is next with 7,245 yards. Running backs Marshall Faulk and Lawrence McCutcheon have 6,959 and 6,186 yards, respectively.
Current Rams running back Todd Gurley needs 14 yards to pass running back Dick Bass and move into 5th place with a total of 5,418 yards. He should do that in week 1. How far will he move up that list in 2020?