Punch List: Item II – Restore running attack
To say that the LA Rams run blocking is abysmal may be an overreaction, or it could be spot on. It was clear that the Rams ran the ball far more effectively with Coleman Shelton hiking the ball and RB Sony Michel handling the running duties later in the 2021 NFL Season. They played on the offense for Weeks 13, 14, and 16.
In those three games, the pair combined for 331 yards of rushing offense, and two rushing touchdowns. That was pretty impressive because the entire rushing attack of the Rams’ 1- game offense would only generate 1,683 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. How were these two so effective?
Rams rushing: Roster dependant?
This combination worked so well because Shelton would move downfield to block linebackers and defensive backs as well engage defenders at the line of scrimmage. Meanwhile, Michel’s running style was north-south, so he was patient but always vigilant for creases and running lanes to either side of the center.
That proved to be incredibly effective for not only the offense but also gave a breather to a defense that was also trying to stand once more after adding OLB Von Miller but being decimated by a late-season COVID-19 outbreak that left the teams scrambling to promote starters to the secondary.
Now, it’s all water under the bridge, right? The Rams won games, so is the matter even an issue? Well yes, it is. The roster struggled to run the ball after TE Johnny Mundt was injured, and continued to struggle whenever the team did not combine Shelton and Michel on the football field. So where do we stand for 2022?