The LA Rams run well this season. But even when facing poor run defenses, the Rams pass first. Does HC Sean McVay trust his running game enough?
The LA Rams in 2018 had an almost automatic first down whenever they fed the ball to running back Todd Gurley. It was almost an automatic, and frustrated opposing defenses that tried and failed repeatedly to stop the Rams running game. Of course, when defenses sold out to stop the run, LA Rams head coach Sean McVay would make them pay with a fabulous aerial assault. The Rams finished 13-3 that season.
2019 was unkind to the Rams. The offensive line was battered repeatedly. The running game failed to inspire anyone. With little run support, defenses could sell out on stopping QB Jared Goff and the Rams’ passing attack. They only had mixed success. But it was enough to shake McVay’s confidence in the running game, and himself.
2020 running game back on track, but is McVay?
The LA Rams are back to running the ball with authority when they run. Despite facing a stingy pass defense and a questionable run defense against the Chicago Bears, the Rams opened the Monday Night Football contest with a pass-heavy attack that forced many to question that strategy. The Rams won the game, but the unwillingness of McVay to go run-heavy against a defense that does not play the run well places more questions onto the table.
Do the Rams trust their rushing attack? They should. The team has Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown running very well so far, with rookies Cam Akers, Xavier Jones, and Raymond Calais sitting on the bench for the most part. But the Rams will need a dependable running game to succeed in the postseason. So far, the Rams appear uncertain, and at times, surprised at their own success at running the ball. If the Rams are going to win in December, or even against the Miami Dolphins, they need to commit to their running game to help keep their defense off the field.
Let’s hope the Rams run wild in week eight.