The ability to view and analyze the LA Rams overall performance is a dying art. And yes, sometimes even we struggle to achieve and sustain the proper context and objectivity of the team’s single-game performance.
You see, with the incentives to drive team play down to the play of the offense, defense, and special teams, and then to break it down further into the performance of individual players, it’s easy to get swept up into the realm of existence under the microscope. We form the opinions that a player, a coach, a unit ‘suck’, and then we use that conclusion to define why the LA Rams struggle.
But that is not reality. The LA Rams are not as broken as losing to three of the best teams in the NFL may have portrayed them to be, any more than winning the Week 13 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the biggest margin of victory has them back on top once more.
Sure, let’s downplay the improvement. But why? If we downplay Week 13, then why focus on Weeks 9-12? Based upon the roster, the familiarity of coaches with their players, the Week 13 performance is as close to the Rams’ reality as anything right now.
There was never any way to judge just how good the Rams are right now based upon how well they performed against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Week 13 in the minds of many was only going to determine just how bad this team had become. Well, not as bad as many believed, it seems.
Takeaway VI – Rams need to run
It is almost comical how easily the LA Rams stray year after year from the basic foundation of running with the football. Despite the repeated lessons of how the entire offense seems to gel when the running game works, or at least remains part of the playbook through the entire game. Need proof?
The LA Rams fell behind the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 of the 2020 NFL Season by the score of 28-3. While the team did not win that game, they fought back and nearly won. In that game, the Rams passed 32 times and rushed 32 times. The Rams committed an early turnover and fell behind the Time of Possession battle. But sticking to the running game soon helped the team balance out their play.
Once more, the LA Rams committed to running the football in their Week 14 contest against the New England Patriots in the 2020 NFL Season. In that game, the Rams passing offense only generated 132 yards. It was the commitment to the run that allowed the offense to control the clock and the game.
Now, fast-forward to Week 13 of the 2021 NFL Season. The Rams did what they had to do. They fought back, learned that this team can run the ball, that this offense needs a strong running game, and that the team just plays a more fundamentally sound quality of football when the team runs with the ball.
How did the Rams gameplan against the winless New York Jets in 2020? They passed 34 times, ran 19 times, turned to ball over once, and lost the time of possession. Regardless of how tough you believe the opponent to be, the Rams need to run the football.