A running LA Rams offense feels very dangerous in playoffs

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

When the LA Rams were losing, the team was passing the ball too much. But after a number of losses, the offense finally acquiesced to the pleas and prayers of many fans. The Rams ran the damned ball. And the resulting performance was… spectacular.

No, running the ball has not cured the offense of committing turnovers.  In the past five games, all of which resulted in a win, the LA Rams have rushed running back Sony Michel for 497 yards and three touchdowns. Over that same period, quarterback Matthew Stafford has completed 117 of 169 passes for 1,332 yards, 11 touchdowns, and six interceptions.  The curious part? Five of the six interceptions occurred over the past two games.

So what else has changed?

A balanced offense is tough to topple

Well, for starters, running the ball more frequently has taken more time off the game clock. In all but one contest, the LA Rams won the Time of Possession. Keeping the defense off the field is very helpful, as it gives the unit a chance to rest up. Rested, the Rams defense has proven to be up to the challenge posed by solid opponents.

But that time of possession also aids the Rams in field position. Even if the LA Rams offense stalls, the fact that the defense takes the field on the opponent’s side of the field, rather than in their own red zone, gives them a chance to make stops and get the ball back into the offense’s hands.

In the NFL Playoffs, opposing teams do a very good job of taking away the most dangerous weapons, forcing offenses to reroute their game through lesser-known players. For the Rams, that means that they cannot rely upon Stafford to Cooper Kupp in every game.

Now they no longer need to. This team has proven over the last five games that the offense can get production from Odell Beckham Jr, Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee, Sony Michel, and even rookie Ben Skowronek. Yes, Kupp will get his. Yes, Stafford is still gonna throw. But now defenses must respect the LA Rams running game as well.

A balanced offense is tough to topple. That is why the LA Rams’ resurgence at running exudes the feel of a very dangerous playoff team. The only thing that can stop them is if the Rams stray from running the football once more.

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