4 lessons learned in Week 9 to help LA Rams in Week 10

Mandatory Credit: Titans Rams 100
Mandatory Credit: Titans Rams 100 /
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LA Rams News
Mandatory Credit: Titans Rams 100 /

Failure is the opportunity to learn. From what we witnessed in their Week 9 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the LA Rams walked away with the lesson plans for a trio of college graduate courses. And yet, it’s only an educational experience if the Rams learn the lessons, and then apply themselves to make mid-season course corrections.

Yes, the loss to the Titans was a treasure trove of trouble spots on this team. Many of the holes that sprung in the Rams were unfortunately on the offensive side of the ball. Imagine that? The area that has excelled has suddenly found itself falling once more into a predictable pattern of play calling that can be discerned and exploited by one keen-eyed coaching staff. If you’ve been paying attention, it only takes one defensive coordinator to crack the code on the Rams offense.

In record time, it gets copied around the league, and the Rams are mystified once more by a defense that can shut them down. It’s not the quarterback this time. It’s not the offensive line this time. It’s the playbook, and the inability to adapt to what a defense is dictating. What do we mean?

The Rams need to commit to the running game

We are still looking at this LA Rams team and we are still saying the same thing. Are we a broken record? Or does this offense ignore what is happening on football game day far too often than it should? Is the team still managing the workload of Darrell Henderson? Or is this something more?

In eight games, Henderson is every bit as effective as he was in 2020. And at 562 yards and five rushing touchdowns in eight games, he will undoubtedly set career-highs in this offense. A year ago, the pace of controlling the game clock and running the ball did not sit well with pass-happy head coach Sean McVay.

But the weather is changing, and colder temperatures favor running the ball. Not only that, the Rams have lost a number of receivers recently, and will need time to work out the game plan with new faces and talents hauling in passes. After all, neither Ben Skowronek nor Odell Beckham Jr. has established the chemistry with their quarterback, Matthew Stafford. That will require more time.

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The Rams face a team that struggles to control the running game. Both teams that they had lost to were vulnerable to a rushing attack. Winning football games is not always about being the more physical team on the football field, but the smarter team. The Rams need to play smarter, which means running with the football when necessary.