LA Rams game 1 offense rests upon the shoulders of RT Havenstein
The LA Rams offensive line was duct tape and rubber bands when the LA Rams faced the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. By the time the two teams faced off, the LA Rams offensive line was Andrew Whitworth, Austin Corbett, Austin Blythe, David Edwards, and Bobby Evans. That line never seemed to open up any running lanes, and the Rams ended the first game only rushing 11 times for 20 yards.
While the Rams game plan never seemed to be about establishing a ground game in the opener, that may have been a premeditated response to the state of the offensive line. Instead, the Rams seemed content to launch deep passes that continued to come in incomplete. By the time the Rams seemed to recognize their miscalculations, the score was already 28-7 in favor of the Cowboys, and the rout was on.
How does Havenstein fit in that narrative?
While the story above is more about the Rams’ defensive collapse, it does have some details that will be very important to this year’s rematch. First of all, the Rams offensive line was a battered bunch of breathing bodies. This year, the Rams will send out their healthy again starting five of Andrew Whitworth, Joseph Noteboom, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, and Rob Havenstein.
Secondly, the Rams will be testing the Cowboys run defense this year. The Cowboys have lost defensive end Robert Quinn and cornerback Byron Jones to free agency, and have placed LB Sean Lee on injured reserve. But all of that is for naught if the Rams struggle to block upfront. And perhaps the most dangerous of the Cowboys defenders in the opener in DeMarcus Lawrence.
Really rooting for Rob in this one
With a reworked defense, the Cowboys will rely upon their star defensive line DeMarcus Lawrence to set the pace for their defense. The only person who stands in his way? LA Rams right tackle Rob Havenstein. After all the “he looks good” and “he’s healthy again” narratives we read and wrote, this is where the rubber hits the pavement. While we are really rooting for Rob in this one, here is where we learn just how good the LA Rams offensive line can play in 2020.
The Cowboys starting front four on defense are DeMarcus Lawrence, Dontari Poe, Trystan Hill, and Tyrone Crawford. If Havenstein can take care of business with Lawrence, the Rams should be able to run the ball to the left side of the offensive line. If the Rams could get the running game going, the Cowboys secondary is vulnerable to a huge day by Goff.
It starts upfront. And up front starts with Rob Havenstein. Time to take off the training wheels and see what we have at right tackle.