LA Rams: 4 positive takeaways from Raiders preseason game

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Running game

After a bit of struggle early in training camp and in the first preseason game, the LA Rams finally demonstrated the ability to run the ball against an NFL opponent.  While it’s no reason to pop the cork on vintage champagne, it is enough of a statement to squash rising concerns over the offensive line and the running backs.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Was it ever a sky-is-falling scenario? No. You see, there was never an expectation for the Rams to generate a ton of rushing yards in preseason games. But the performance against the Chargers was a bit alarming because the team averaged just 2.5 yards-per-carry. That, in an NFL preseason setting, is abysmal. And that type of performance, if it continued, would be an indication of poor quality plays or players.

Well, thankfully that didn’t last. Instead, the Rams averaged (sans QB Bryce Perkins) 4.9 yards-per-carry. That is where the running game needs to be in the preseason. Even as the offensive line will ramp up with the start of the 2021 NFL season, the Rams will likely be leaning heavily upon the legs of both Xavier Jones and Jake Funk. Running the ball will get much tougher come September 12, so both runners need to get much better rather quickly.

That is happening now. Oftentimes, a positive performance can be a vital springboard to progress happening. The Rams would be well-served if they could mount another outing by the running backs.  It need not be a 200 plus yards rushing outing. But due to the Denver Broncos’ defensive similarities to that of the Chicago Bears, it makes a perfect canvas to see what might work and what may not in the regular-season debut.