LA Rams discovering that weakest link dictates outcome

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

Bad offensive line play

The first and foremost common factor in the Rams’  five losses is the substandard play of the offensive line. This is no different than the debacle of losses that happened in 2019. And yet, the occurrence seems to paralyze the entire offense. Have they not seen it before? They have. Has it fooled them before? It has. Have they found solutions to overcome that defense? They have. Do they use that solution when they encounter it from a new opponent? They do not.

The Rams can squeeze the most from the offensive line in many games. To do so, the team needs to mix both runs and passes to keep defenders off balance. The Rams offensive line can play well enough up to a point. But at some point, whether it is facing a very talented defensive lineman, stunts, or too many defenders, the offensive line crumples like a house of cards. Total disaster.

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The latest weak link

The latest fiasco was the play of Austin Blythe. He is the center of the Rams offensive line, and he was completely useless in the first half against the New York Jets. While watching in real-time, I noticed that he was responsible for at least two of the three sacks on quarterback Jared Goff. When it jumps off the screen like that, it’s bad. And yes, he was.

On many other plays, the receivers were simply not even breaking their routes to look for the ball when rushers were already on Goff. Goff had no choice but to move and throw the ball away. On at least five pass plays, a defender was in his face just as the ball arrived. It was not until the Rams finally reverted to a two-tight end formation that the blocking started to hold. But by then the damage was done. The Rams were far behind as they have been in the other losses.