Should Sony be featured in NFC Championship Game?
I understand that RB Cam Akers is back on this offense after a miraculous six-month recovery and that the Rams want to fast-track his integration to use him throughout these playoffs and likely in 2022. But one four-yard carry in the Divisional Round for a guy who could have, should have been a 1000 yard rusher if the Rams had given him an even half-decent workload?
Need I mention that Sony Michel rushed 845 yards on 208 carries? Of course, as soon as I go there, I will be tempted to mention that Michel’s best games were those games where Coleman Shelton was hiking the football as the team’s starting offensive center.
The point is that this was not the time to flip the featured running back. The Rams offensive line, over the course of many weeks of gameplay, had grown accustomed to the rhythm by which Michel runs with the ball, when he hits the hole, and where he cuts back. Cam Akers, though a very talented rusher, does so at a different pace.
Mix it up
By mixing in different running backs during the game, the offense forces new timing and running patterns upon the defense to adjust to. But committing wholesale to a new running back in the playoffs, the Rams have dictated those new rushing patterns upon their own offensive line.
That may have been a costly decision if the team was unable to claim the win and advance. But should the team rethink the strategy to face the 49ers? After all, the Rams offense was scoring with Michel running, even if he was not placing a dent in the Niners’ defense.
Michel still feels like he has one more breakout solid performance. A game where 20-25 carries could get 120+ yards and at least one touchdown. Could he do so against these San Francisco 49ers? I think he certainly has the potential to do so. The key will be whether or not the offense gives him a chance to carry the ball in this one.