Takeaway III – Rams played power football
After the whispers grew to guffaws and chortles over the LA Rams ‘soft’ style of football, it was nice to see the offense play a power running game. This was not a game where the offense just ran the football. Oh no. This was a game where the offense loaded up with two tight ends and, at times, an extra offensive lineman, and ran the ball down the Jacksonville Jaguars’ throats.
We know that the LA Rams lost both their offensive center, Brian Allen, and left guard David Edwards to injury early in the game. Well, Edwards missed four plays, while Allen missed the game. Coleman Shelton took over for Allen, and Bobby Evans took over for Edwards. But the cast of the offensive line did not stop there. Per Lineups.com, the LA Rams used offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom as an extra offensive lineman on 12 offensive snaps, and in relief of veteran Andrew Whitworth on four snaps. So, he became the Rams’ second tight end? At times.
But this was a game where the LA Rams finally made use of tight end Brycen Hopkins and gave Kendall Blanton some work at tight end too. Starting tight end Tyler Higbee got work on 63 of the team’s 68 offensive snaps. Brycen Hopkins was on the field for 14 offensive snaps. Kendall Blanton was on the football field for 10 offensive snaps. Joseph Noteboom was on the football field for 16 offensive snaps, four of which were in relief of veteran Andrew Whitworth.
Power football confirmed
That can all be confirmed by reviewing how much work the team’s wide receivers got in Week 13. Unlike the past three weeks, the Rams used their 11-personnel package about 50 percent of the offensive plays.
I love the LA Rams’ ability to put up points in one play by throwing coast to coast. But, there is nothing quite as satisfying as just grinding it out. Not only does it limit the number of offensive mistakes, but it takes the pressure off the quarterback as well.
The Rams had struggled in third and fourth down conversions: Week 9 – 33 percent, Week 10 – 25 percent, Week 12- 28.6 percent. But in Week 13, the LA Rams converted on 46.2 percent. Of course, some of that is playing with a lead and playing against the Jaguars, but it’s also playing with a tougher mindset than trying to outflank determined defenses.
Welcome back, Rams football. We’ve missed you.