LA Rams overcome adversity in round one of NFL Playoffs

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams NFL Playoffs
Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams can run and win

And yet, the Rams discovered once more that they can, in fact, run the ball well when they commit to it. But better yet, Goff learned that it was not all on him. Nine completions out of 19 attempts for 155 yards and a touchdown was enough to win. In the end, that is exactly what the LA Rams did as the road underdog.

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But let’s turn to the other part of the Rams offense, the running game. All the LA Rams did was to run the ball against the fifth-ranked rushing defense in the NFL, when they knew that the Rams would be running the ball. That is partially due to the fact that offensive left tackle Andrew Whitworth was healed, rested, and back as the starting left tackle. But the Rams committed to running the ball.

Less glamorous, but far more effective

Running the ball effectively is such a huge plus for the Rams team right now for many reasons. For starters, it takes the yolk of winning off the shoulders of the quarterback and puts it on the running back and offensive line. Secondly, running the ball chews up the clock, and keeps the Rams defense fresh throughout the entire game. Thirdly, a solid running game pairs nicely with a strong defense.  Rushing the ball limits turnovers and the impact of the opposing team’s defense.

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NFL Championship football is not about the high octane offenses. In the end, defenses can manufacture pressure and coverages to thwart even the most talented and veteran quarterbacks.  But stopping the running game is about power, reads, and physicality. That is the type of football that, when achieved, can be counted on in the sun, wind, rain, sleet, and snow. Right now, the Rams are grinding out yards on the ground.

The LA Rams had every reason to fold but didn’t. They fought harder than at any point in the season. Perhaps this is a turning point for the Rams, and for quarterback Jared Goff. It certainly appeared to be from what I saw of the game.  Yes, the LA Rams are heading to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to face the top-seeded Green Bay Packers. But I like this matchup.

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The Rams will be ready to defeat the Packers next weekend. As for me, I will be ready to cheer them on the entire game.