As the LA Rams struggle to find ways to put points on the board, the best NCAA scorer of 2019 sits on their bench
The LA Rams really are struggling to score points this year. Well, struggling in a relative sense. You see, the Rams are scoring just 24.1 points per game. While that is not horrible in terms of how many points the Rams have scored in recent years, it’s a far cry from the number of points the NFL is averaging today. The midpoint for NFL offenses so far in 2020 is 25.8 points per game. Top offenses are putting up over 30 points a game.
That means that the LA Rams have fallen behind other offenses in terms of putting up points. While some of that is simply playing some top NFL defense (Miami, Chicago, San Francisco), part of the narrative can also include the limited number of players with significant roles on the offense. So far, the team has toggled between veterans Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson at the running back position. All the while, the Rams have yet to play the NCAA top scorer for 2019 on a single offensive play.
Jones just scores
Yes, we’re talking about rookie running back Xavier Jones. He is that guy who has had an entire career of knocking down barriers and obstacles. But to the naked eye, he appears to be just another football player. He stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 208-pounds of muscle. Other than being uncannily fit, Jones just doesn’t jump off the page. Well, except for one thing. He can score points. Lots and lots of points.
He was not invited to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, despite scoring the most points than any other college football player. So too, he did not hear his name called during the 2020 NFL Draft. After the LA Rams signed him to the roster, few expected he would make it to the 53-man roster. But he stood out in the team’s scrimmages. So much so that All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald named him as someone who stood out to him.
The guy plays very hard.
Grow the playbook, and the players
The Rams can run the ball. Well, they can when they choose to do so. In 2020, they do not always choose to do so. The aversion to running the ball coincides in games where the Rams struggle. In two of the team’s three losses, the Rams passed twice as frequently as run with the ball. In both games, the Rams passing game was significantly misfiring as well. So even when defenses had the passing game figured out, the Rams passed the ball.
The team needs to work more running plays into the game. If it’s a matter of keeping running plays fresh, then the team needs to add more running plays to the playbook. Finally, if the team is trying to preserve the health of the running backs for the latter part of the season, the team needs to involve more players in the running game.
We believed that Xavier Jones could make some noise in the Rams offense. We still do. The team needs to score, and Jones specializes in scoring. Of course, getting Jones onto the field will mean that the Rams need to make some changes. But when you have a player who scored 23 touchdowns on 244 touches, that’s a player who needs to get an opportunity in the NFL. Will the Rams get Jones onto the field? Or will LA Rams RB Xavier Jones warm the bench all season?