5 ways the LA Rams now playing like a champion should

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Cam Akers
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Rams finally trusting their running game

It required a lot of courage and trust for the LA Rams to go into the Thursday Night Football Game and call the number of rookie running back Cam Akers so often. The Patriots defense is a disciplined unit, and they are well-coached in both football fundamentals and in-game planning.  So putting a rookie running back as a featured contributor of the offense was a bold move.

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Cam Akers delivered. Not just on one play. Not just in one quarter. Cam Akers was a dangerous rushing offensive weapon for the LA Rams the entirety of the game.  The Rams offense seemed to forget just how dangerous a 100-yard rusher made this offense.  In 2018, the Rams benefitted from 100-yard games from a running back in eight different contests and won all eight. In 2019, the Rams failed at getting any running back to 100-yards rushing in a game.

Running helps this offense, run

So far in 2020, the LA Rams running backs have broken the century-mark just twice.  The first occasion was a shootout thriller in Buffalo, which the Rams lost late by the score of 35-32. In that one, the Rams fell way behind but stuck with the strong running of Darrell Henderson to get back into the game. Henderson ended the day with 20 carries and 114 yards.

The second time was the masterpiece by rookie Cam Akers, who rushed 29 times for 171 yards. Suddenly, the Rams did not seem so vulnerable to each gaffe or miscue of quarterback Jared Goff. In fact, Goff threw an interception which gave the Patriots great field position early in the game. But that merely led to the defense intercepting Cam Newton and running the ball in for a 71-yard touchdown off an interception. When the Rams run the ball that well, little mistakes do not become instant fatal flaws.