Has LA Rams HC Sean McVay learned the value of running the ball?
The Rams won Week 15, and as such have reached 10 wins with three games remaining. Not to be overlooked, this team has now won three consecutive games while forced to do so against tremendous adversity.
The win was sweet in many ways. But perhaps one positive that will be overlooked is the way that the LA Rams seemed to adapt to the defense and take the yards that the Seahawks were giving them. It was the same deep-shell defense that had thwarted the Rams against the Arizona Cardinals, the Tennessee Titans, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Green Bay Packers. But this time, when the defense dared the LA Rams to run the ball, the LA Rams ran the ball and choked the defense with it.
That’s the physicality that we, and many fans, have been begging the Rams to establish. Even if the team ends up losing the game, let’s go down the right way. Ducking and weaving and hoping for a miraculous catch may be fun to some, but in the game of professional football, it does nothing to instill fear or respect in the opposition.
Running well steals opposing defense’s soul
Even against the 5-8 Seattle Seahawks, the game was a hard-fought battle of inches until the LA Rams came out determined to run in the second half. When the Rams went with six offensive linemen and watched Sony Michel run the ball for 39 yards, that was the clincher. The LA Rams went from being down by seven points to a tied score in that drive.
The Seahawks defense, the same defense that held the Rams in check to just three points in the first half, let down a bit. That was all the Rams needed to put up 17 points in the second half to win the game.
There is more to running the football than putting up yards. It’s a confidence boost to the offensive line. Rather than absorb punishment in protection, it puts offensive linemen on the attack and makes them the hunter.
Running the football is a soothing balm to a defense. Even if the defense goes three and out, time is taken off the clock, and punting the football quite frequently gives the defense a decent field position to take over.
But perhaps one of the least appreciated benefits is how it simply takes away the fighting spirit of the opponent. It serves to shut up the all too common defensive taunts that the Rams face on the football field recently. It’s like punching a bully in the nose and watching their tears well up as they run away crying.
Winning is everything in the NFL. But winning the right way, with a strong running attack, is the most satisfying victory of all.