5 takeaways from LA Rams second victory

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

Takeaway III: The Rams running game simply is not very good yet

The LA Rams have relied on the running game for years to set up the pass. It was a good symbiosis, a balance of sorts that worked incredibly well over the years. Well in the past, that is. The first sign of trouble occurred in 2019 when the LA Rams suddenly found itself facing a rushing attack that could not generate 100+ yards per game. The team averaged just 93.7 yards in that season.

In two games in 2021, the LA Rams are averaging just 87.5 yards per game, and are the 25th-ranked rushing offense in the NFL. While that may not worry some, it can pose a bit of a problem. When the weather turns colder, rushing offenses have tended to do better. Now, rules have changed and that advantage has eroded over time. But without a strong presence on the ground, the LA Rams offense becomes very one-dimensional. When that happens, bad things start to happen.

The Rams rushing attack has been snakebit this year. Even as the LA Rams had promised to monitor running back Darrell Henderson and minimize his workload, his has been a narrative of a bump here, a bruise there. In just Week 2, he suffered another injury and would be unable to return to the game.

If the running game falls to running back Sony Michel, he will be ready. Right now, the LA Rams are not ruling Henderson out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. But this is exactly the scenario that so many feared with a team depending upon Darrell Henderson as their RB1. In two games, Henderson has rushed 29 times. That’s not exactly a burdensome workload. But I don’t want to diminish this injury. Rib injuries to a running back are incredibly painful. Look for Michel to run and run well against the Buccaneers.