LA Rams beating the 49ers may depend entirely upon RB Cam Akers
The LA Rams won three of their first four games against the San Francisco 49ers after HC Sean McVay was hired. But the Rams have lost the last six games. So what happened? While we broke it out for you in a recent article, there is one factor from those wins that has been absent from the losses.
The dominating running impact of RB Todd Gurley.
Of course, we are talking about completely different teams player-wise. Both teams’ rosters are unrecognizable from the teams that competed in 2017 and 2018. But that didn’t stop the same two head coaches: LA Rams HC Sean McVay, and San Francisco 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan, from applying their perspective and philosophy into those games. So what was so dominantly effective then that is not the case today?
Simply stated? The Rams rushed an average of 36.7 times per game. In three wins, the LA Rams ran that football 110 times for 427 yards and five rushing touchdowns to be exact. In two games in 2021, the LA Rams rushed 37 times for 116 yards and no rushing touchdowns. Can you see the pattern?
You just don’t understand
Sure, we’re just fans. We don’t understand the ‘flow of the game’. We don’t see how the 49er’s secondary is vulnerable to the pass, THE pass, that will flip the game momentum and turn the game into a desperately long overdue win. But it comes down to K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid.
If the Rams need to ramp up their run blocking, I’m okay with the Rams starting offensive center Coleman Shelton for this one. In fact, I would welcome it. While I don’t expect Allen to hike the football over quarterback Matthew Stafford’s head for the second game in a row, once was too much.
The Rams will need to rush the football. Somehow, someway, they will need to move the chains via the ground game. And the return of RB Cam Akers, despite his two-fumble performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is just what the doctor ordered.