Why Week 4 is ideal for LA Rams 12 package offense?

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Sony Michel
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

A path less chosen

Historically, the LA Rams have not emphasized the run when facing the Arizona Cardinals. But this is a new season, and the Cardinals are fielding a brand new pass-rush-centric defense. That defense will have drilled one thing into their brains this week. Get after Matthew Stafford.

That’s a pretty wise strategy, to be honest. The Rams quarterback has been on fire early in the NFL season. In three games, Matthew Stafford has already been awarded the NFC Offensive Player Of The Week twice. One of the reasons he has thrown with such pinpoint accuracy? The LA Rams offensive line has been a formidable phalanx.

You can thank the ageless one, offensive left tackle Andrew Whitworth. You can tip the cap to offensive right tackle Rob Havenstein. You can be grateful to left guard David Edwards. You can even credit the performance of right guard Austin Corbett. But don’t you dare ignore center Brian Allen. The Rams offensive line has been an outstanding and pleasant surprise so far this year.

But the running game has not been very good, averaging a pedestrian 3.3 yards-per-carry. Well, the Rams did just play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the top-rated run defense at the time. And the Rams played the Bears, a solid run defense that gave up a ton of rushing yards to the Cleveland Browns because the Browns ran 42 times. The Rams also faced the Indianapolis Colts. They are tough to run against as well. But they faced a Seattle Seahawks offense committed to run, and a Tennessee Titans offense led by Derrick Henry.

The Rams discovered that Sony Michel is the complete package at running back in Week 3. He ran with authority and purpose, he was a solid receiving option, and he proved to be a dominating blocker at picking up the blitz. Even as the Rams contemplate playing Darrell Henderson this week, Week 4 is taking shape as an ideal opportunity to see just how effectively Michel can run the ball. I expect that if the Rams commit to running the ball, he could put up 120 yards and two touchdowns in this one.