3 reasons why rookie RB Cam Akers will breakout after bye

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Cam Akers
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams need to score points

So far, the LA Rams have been moving the ball successfully. But when the team enters the red zone, suddenly the offense seems to sputter. While there is plenty of room to debate whether the players fail to execute their offensive plays and fall short, or the plays called suddenly diverge to what has worked to place the Rams into scoring position and try to outthink the defensive coordinator,. In any case, the Rams are not scoring.

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So what can a rookie running back do to change that? Why score, of course. But perhaps some elaboration is necessary.  So let’s add some details. The LA Rams have two problems when they intend to score. First of all, the team does not commit to the running game, even when it is very effective. Secondly, the team tends to target the same receivers.  In both scenarios, the offense fails to create a high probability of success in the red zone.  The lack of touchdowns is the result.

Cam changes the balance

When the LA Rams finally entrust Akers with offensive snaps, he brings strength and durability and mixes in high-speed burst and big-play creation altogether.  That combination creates a tough challenge for defenses. They can ignore his rushing ability, and that affords open running lanes to carry the ball into the end zone. Or they can ignore passing plays, giving Rams receivers room to separate from the defender and come down with the ball. But why not just send more defenders than blockers?

Ah, now that draws defenses into the most dangerous part of Akers’ game. He can run draws and screenplays all day. After all, he has a natural instinct of following his blockers through traffic and shedding them at the last minute to get the most yardage out of the play. That is simply not something that can be coached into a running back. Akers has the natural ability to use an aggressive defense’s pass rush against them naturally.  But why wouldn’t the LA Rams do this with the other running backs? That’s where distributing the ball equitably takes over.