3 reasons why Matthew Stafford can go without a strong rushing attack

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Stafford LA Rams NewsNews
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Today, the LA Rams rushing offense just blew up. Seriously, the ground game suffered a huge setback as the Rams fanbase awakened to learn of the news that starting and featured running back Cam Akers suffered a season-ending injury. He tore his Achilles Tendon, an injury that is most certainly a season-ender for the young man and will have an entire array of impacts upon the Rams offense this year.

There is a lot to sort out here. First of all, while this is truly a devastating injury that will require a long recovery for Cam Akers, the timing is such that the team has sufficient advance warning to attempt to compensate before the 2021 NFL season arrives. The Rams can make adjustments. The team can sign players. The offense can press ahead. Discouraged? Perhaps. But do not underestimate the resolve of this team.

This may be disappointing news at the moment. But you can bet that running backs coach Thomas Brown will find a way to pull an inspirational message out of this setback. The LA Rams have a veteran running back in Darrell Henderson Jr. who has plenty of experience at running in the NFL. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first. We can’t let panic set in, and start flying all over a menagerie of topics. Let’s stay grounded, and assess the offense as it is right now. Today. This moment in time.

In another time and place, this could be far worse news. The LA Rams offense under Jared Goff depended heavily upon a running game to take the defensive focus off the passing game and the pressure off his shoulders to make plays. After Gurley’s knees buckled late in 2018 and through the 2019 season, Goff’s ability to play instinctively began to wilt.

Thankfully, the Rams’ new veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford has no such vulnerability. While the LA Rams hoped to showcase a dominating running attack to balance out the passing arm of Stafford, there was no such expectation from Stafford to do so. He rolls with modest rushing, with no rushing, and with an occasional flash of good rushing. Even as the Rams historically had relied upon the running game to open up the passing offense, Stafford is entirely capable of inverting that polarity and using the passing offense to open up rushing lanes.

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Sound crazy? Perhaps. But let’s just do a quick dive into the situation and sort this all out.