Overreaction IV: Rams’ offensive line is terrible
As soon as the LA Rams lost outside linebacker Von Miller to the Buffalo Bills, that football team immediately got the entire book on each and every offensive lineman on the LA Rams roster. Compounding the matter was the fact that two starting offensive linemen, LT Joe Noteboom and OC Brian Allen, both suffered injuries in Week 1.
Playing against a defensive front where they know all of your traits and you are just guessing at theirs is one thing. Now put two of your offensive big boys on bad wheels, and you have a scenario that results in what we witnessed in Week 1.
Per Pro Football Focus, Andrew Whitworth played 986 offensive snaps in the 2021 NFL season, committed just six penalties, and surrendered just five quarterback sacks in the entire season. In the postseason, PFF recorded one more penalty and one more quarterback sack. Total?
Seven penalties and six sacks allowed the entire season, front to back.
Right or left? Rams OL struggled on the left side
So how did PFF grade the LA Rams offensive line in the first game of the 2022 NFL season?
Joe Noteboom – 0 penalties, 3 sacks allowed
David Edwards – 1 penalty, 2 sacks allowed
Brian Allen – 0 penalties, 1 sack allowed
Coleman Shelton – 0 penalties, 0 sacks allowed
Rob Havenstein – 0 penalties, 1 sack allowed
Totals: 1 penalty, 7 sacks allowed
In one game, the Rams’ offensive line allowed two more quarterback sacks than Andrew Whitworth allowed all season. Were the guys up front that bad? Was the Buffalo Bills’ defensive front that good? Or was it a combination of the two?
I assert that the LA Rams’ injuries played a vastly huge role in the debacle. The Rams’ offensive linemen starters knew that they had a limited supply of depth, and as long as they could stand, they insisted on playing. Noteboom’s MCL injury clearly hurt his lateral movement. Allen’s sore knee showed up multiple times, not just in allowing one sack of his own, but in an inability to help out a struggling left side of the offensive line, a side that ultimately surrendered six of the Rams’ seven allowed quarterback sacks.
Will the Rams put up better protection in Week 2? I believe that they will.