By the first half of the LA Rams‘ second preseason game against the Houston Texans, quarterback John Wolford was sacked five times for 29 yards lost. The Rams rushed just nine times for 21 yards, including seven yards from Wolford himself. The Rams’ offensive line appeared to be struggling.
By the final buzzer, things had not improved much. The Rams rushed 20 times for a total of 46 yards gained on the carpet. Six of those rushing attempts, and eight of those rushing yards, came as a result of the combination of LA Rams quarterbacks John Wolford and Bryce Perkins. The Rams’ offensive line surrendered six quarterback sacks in the game for a loss of 36 yards. And to add injury to insult, LA Rams rookie offensive lineman Logan Bruss’s season ended when he suffered an ACL/MCL injury.
It was not a good showing for the Rams’ backup offensive line. In the view of many, this was a bleak showing. But let’s stop, look, and listen to the game dynamics. Was it really such a bad performance?
Let’s not dance around this one. The LA Rams’ second and third-stringer offensive linemen faced the best defenders on the Houston Texans, and it wasn’t close. So how can anyone truly assess what the Rams offense is all about, particularly where the offensive line is concerned, in that type of scenario? It’s clearly not something I am going to wade into.
Some Rams roster reserves are standing out
So far, we know that LA Rams head coach Sean McVay has named A.J. Jackson, A.J. Arcuri, Tremayne Anchrum, and Bobby Evans as players who have created a positive impression for the Rams on the offensive line. Of course, that leaves the Rams’ offensive center a bit shallow, but the theory is that the Rams can cover the right guard position if anything happens to Rams starting center Brian Allen, which would then allow starting right guard Coleman Shelton to slide to his left.
I need to review the Rams’ performance, but it appeared to me that Logan Bruss was struggling in pass protection for the Rams. After his injury, the Rams’ offensive line appeared to settle in a bit. And therein lies the problem.
For a unit like the Rams offensive line, one player struggling results in a poor performance by the entire squad, and that was not the case for the Rams offensive front. It was more of a younger group of players learning how to synch up, facing a cohesive defensive front that threw a lot of stunts, blitzes, and gadgets at them. For the most part, the Rams’ offensive line was not as bad as many made it out to be.
The Rams won the time of possession battle, holding onto the football for 31:08 to the Texans 28:52. The Rams offense ran 61 plays, as many as the Texans offense. While the Rams struggled to advance the football on the ground, the Rams’ passing offense was very effective, gaining 229 yards through the air. And the Rams fumbled the football just once.
The game was lost due to penalties, more than a poor offensive line performance. Those are the types of things that can be corrected by the coaching staff. All in all, it was not the type of performance that you wanted to see from the Rams’ backups. But considering the fact that they faced the Houston Texans starters? It was not as bad as you think.