Why the LA Rams running game could be NFL’s biggest surprise

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Darrell Henderson Jr
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No defensive coordinator fears the Rams running game right now

The LA Rams offense has a quarterback who can throw for 5000 yards in an NFL season. The Rams’ offense has a wide receiver who can catch for 2000 yards in a single NFL season. And the Rams offense has a running back group that did not rush more than 760 yards, as a group, last season. What would you plan to stop?

It’s clear that the Rams have not fooled themselves into believing that success can fall to the LA Rams season without a formidable running game to fall back on. But in terms of what the Rams have shown, their best preseason rusher, Trey Ragas, is firmly entrenched on the practice squad.

The LA Rams are not completely guilty of prestidigitation for this first game, as the Rams’ passing offense is worth concern by NFL defenses. But for all of the team’s offseason bravado, the rhetoric over the ground game has been more along the lines of reassuring fans rather than a disguised boasting or overhyping the situation.

Reading between the lines, the players and the coaches have the feel of a smoldering confidence. There is less about what the Rams are going to do and more about a ‘wait and see.’ statement from players and coaches.

The Buffalo Bills’ defense is noted for sticking to a two-high pass defense, which plays both safeties back in center field to defend the big plays. But that configuration limits the defense to put just seven players in the box, a defense that is more susceptible to the running game. Since the Bills have no reason to fear the run and plenty of reasons to fear big plays out of the Rams’ passing offense, the Rams may be dictating the Bills’ defensive strategy before the teams even take their first snap.