Turn on any NFL broadcast, and you will hear the same thing on Tuesday. The LA Rams got punched in the mouth in the past two games and ran away crying. It was something that has happened in two consecutive games. Once? It was deniable as a one-off, a fluke, a bad game. Twice? It’s a successful strategy.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” – The Court and Character of King James by Anthony Weldon, 1651 describes what the LA Rams are going through to a tee. The LA Rams were beaten by the same strategy twice in two consecutive games, and will likely continue to face that smash-mouth football strategy until they prove that they can win that type of game.
That is a very good question, and one I’m not exactly sure that even the coaching staff has an answer to that right now. For starters, it’s tough to gauge how effective and durable the Rams rushing attack is because the team has abandoned the run in recent weeks. The Rams, despite a wave of injuries to the receivers, have gone from a 60/40 pass/run ratio to an 80/20 pass-run ratio in recent weeks.
Most of that recent skewing of play distribution has been dictated by the opponent, as the Rams have attempted to outflank a game plan of running it down the Rams’ throat and swarming quarterback Matthew Stafford. So how can the LA Rams overcome that mindset? Simply stated, but giving some playing time to the meanest and toughest guys on the roster who have not seen much playing time, that’s how.
Tough Guy I: Rams Roster – Big ole burly running back
Running back Buddy Howell is 6-foot-1 and 215-pounds of power running. So far, he’s played six offensive snaps, and carried the ball five times behind the backup offensive line in the team’s blowout win against the Houston Texans. He returned two kickoffs against the Tennesee Titans in Week 9. He sat on Week 10.
It seems to me that if the LA Rams are getting their arses kicked in the past two games, that a big-bodied running back would be a wise component to the offensive strategy. Even if the brain trust of the team does not trust the guy to carry the football, why not use him for the occasional lead blocker role that has been so effective when used against the Rams.
Howell is no slouch. He can dole out the punishment, and it’s time that the Rams offensive coaches begin to appreciate that as a desirable trait when the Rams have the football. Lead blocking, punishing runs, even picking up the blitz. The Rams are heading into cold weather. This would be a good time to feature players who can heat up as the weather turns colder.