III: Stafford doesn’t need a strong running game
Okay. You think it looks bleak. You are already telling your friends that the season is as good as over, and find yourself tweeting that the LA Rams won’t win half of their games this year. Before you go too far down that dark and rainy winding dirt road, pause for just a moment. The guy at quarterback doesn’t need a strong running game. In fact, he probably wouldn’t know what to do with it if he had one.
This is Matthew Stafford, folks. He’s passed for over 45,000 yards in his career without the benefit of a strong rushing attack. So why would he suddenly need one to be effective in the LA Rams offense? Is there some reason that you are aware of that you haven’t shared? Or is it just all dark and bleak because that is how you chose to process the news of RB Cam Akers’s season-ending injury?
Stafford has thrown for over 4,000 yards eight of his twelve seasons. He’s thrown for over 30 touchdowns twice in his career. He has not had the luxury of a 1000 yard rusher in his backfield. It happened in 2013 when RB Reggie Bush put up 1006 rushing yards. In many seasons, the Lions’ leading rusher barely crossed 600+ yards on the ground. The LA Rams already have that if they just put RB Darrell Henderson onto the field. But there is already a master plan going into effect now.
The LA Rams bought a Chevy Suburban with Stafford. Don’t look for the team to compromise his passing acumen by trying to rig up some less than thought-through plan to suddenly run the offense through as yet untested running backs in a damn-the-torpedoes approach to stick with a running game with no true tested feature back. Hey, the Rams will run the ball. And if any of the Rams’ young rushers flashes brilliance, you can expect to see plenty of them this season on offense.
The organization did not stumble into Stafford. After careful vetting, the front office and coaching staff determined that Stafford’s qualities will give the Rams a much better chance of success in 2021 and beyond. Think of it this way. The LA Rams will be less likely to ease Matthew Stafford into his role under center now. This offense is far more likely to come out guns blazing. That could prove to be hugely productive for an offense that has lots of passing potential. Now, we’ll see just how much production that means on the football field.