The 49ers never stopped LA Rams RB Cam Akers

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams drafted rookie RB Cam Akers to play, not watch. The 49ers couldn’t stop him. Now, the Rams need to stop holding him back.

The LA Rams talk about running back by committee, and so far that’s been fine. But the Rams are facing stiffer competition now, and the team has been running both veteran running backs Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown hard. It’s time to give the rookie running back, Cam Akers, the spotlight on this offense.

Since the bye week, it has been Akers who has dazzled on the ground. And that should not be overlooked by the Rams coaching staff. It certainly has not escaped our attention. Let’s break it down. After all, the plan for this season was not to rush each player the same number of carries, nor the same distribution. The plan was to go with the hot runner.

Akers is too hot to be ignored any longer

So who is the hot runner? To determine that, let’s compare veteran running back Darrell Henderson to rookie running back Cam Akers over the past three games (since the bye).

Well, that’s curious. Henderson has one more carry, but Akers is much more productive, Now, let’s compare veteran running back Malcolm Brown to Akers.

That comparison reveals that Brown still has a place on the team as well.

Nobody stopping Akers right now but the Rams

But the Rams are stalling, failing to capitalize on the hot running back. In the 49ers game, Cam Akers rushed just nine times for 84 yards. Let’s not apply the 20/20 hindsight rule. But when he averages nearly 10 yards-per-carry, shouldn’t there be some mechanism in place to direct more carries his way? The Rams gave him just nine touches, in a game ultimately decided by three points.  The 49ers handed the ball off the Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. more often.

The LA Rams have plenty of things to fix right now. And of course, as soon as the team starts winning, that will give the appearance of corrections in place. But the fix we are focusing on remains the offensive play calling. In three of the Rams’ four losses this season, the Rams seem to face tough pass defenses and pass into it. Against the 49ers twice and the Miami Dolphins, the Rams struggled through the air but never converted the offense to a ground attack.

light. Trending. LA Rams QB Jared Goff is now officially the problem

Akers can solve two problems

In the most recent loss, Cam Akers averaged 9.3 YPC on nine carries. In the first meeting against the 49ers, Darrell Henderson averaged 6.3 YPC on 14 carries.  Against the Dolphins? Henderson averaged 5.9 YPC on eight carries. As much as the Rams quarterback Jared Goff struggles, the play calling still doesn’t help.

Is there a way to help out Goff in the short term? While there may be other options, the most obvious one jumping off of the page right now is putting the reins on Akers and riding him into the playoffs. The young man was selected in the 2020 NFL Draft for this situation. Now, it’s time to trust that decision.

Taking a chance on the rookie running back from Florida State could very well be something new, yes. Putting the ball into his hands could disappoint, yes. But handing the ball off to Cam Akers 15-20 times per game could result in rushing for 100+ yards, improving the team’s play-action passing attack, and putting the entire offense into a better position to succeed.

Next. LA Rams News: Take two steps forward and one step backward. dark

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