The demise of the LA Rams offensive line in 2020 has been greatly exaggerated. Still, I continue to see that blanket statement targeting the offensive line whenever the topic over how to improve the Rams surfaces on social media. One of the first comments that I simply now come to expect is the ‘Fix that offensive line!’. It’s almost a reflex reaction.
Here is an LA Rams public service announcement: The LA Rams offensive line is fixed. In fact, it performed nearly as well as it had in 2018. Now, let’s be clear. The Rams offensive line was very bad in 2019. In fact, it suffered numerous season-ending injuries to most of the starters, and the team was forced to cobble practically a new lineup for each game. But it was the struggles of that 2019 season that positioned the Rams offensive line to emerge as one of the top offensive lines this season.
We talked about the rebound effect of the offensive line at great lengths a year ago. Summarized, the Rams played nine different offensive linemen in starting roles a year ago, which meant that the entire squad this year had NFL starting experience. That’s why we believed a year ago that the Rams would not be committing multiple draft-picks towards offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Draft, and we see no reason for the Rams to change that for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Yes, the LA Rams offensive line is good, very good. It struggled a bit when Andrew Whitworth was out for two months with a knee injury. it struggled, even more, when David Edwards was out at the season’s end with an ankle injury.
But it was so good that the Rams were the tenth-ranked rushing offense in the NFL in 2020 with a running back by committee approach consisting of Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, and Cam Akers. On the flip side, the same offensive line surrendered the seventh-fewest quarterback sacks in 2020. So let’s dive into what happened in 2020.