Overreaction II: Rams can’t run the football
The Rams may not have won the game, but as is often the tale of post-game analyses of losses, the Rams left some offense on the table by abandoning the run. Of the 67 offensive snaps in the first game, the Rams directed 55 to their running back Darrell Henderson Jr, and 12 to running back Cam Akers. Had Rams rookie running back Kyren Williams remained healthy, I believe that the ultimate distribution plan would have been:
Darrell Henderson 33
Kyren Williams 22
Cam Akers 12
The LA Rams rushed Henderson 13 times for 47 yards, and Akers three times for zero yards. Did you realize that Darrell Henderson rushed for the longest gain on the ground in that game? His 18 yards topped all.
No commitment to running the football
The Rams rushed with the football just six times in the second half. I know, I know. The Rams fell behind. The Rams had to score quickly. But the Buffalo really had an easy time of it. The Rams’ offensive game plan was way too predictable. Either pass to Kupp or pass to Higbee. The Rams were exclusively one tight end, one running back, and three wide receivers for the entire game.
Nothing changed. Whatsoever. Nada.
We know that RB Cam Akers struggled in that opener. But as is often the case, the adjustments to help out a struggling player oftentimes come two or three games later. Last year, the Rams lost three straight games before the offense had enough with a pattern of interceptions, and committed to the running game behind veteran Sony Michel for several games until the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. and the promotion of Ben Skowronek could get up speed.
Who is that ‘go-to’ running back this year? I’m not sure. But Henderson’s running was more effective for the Rams’ offense than what we witnessed. The Rams simply abandoned the run when things started to become tough. And that played right into the teeth of the Buffalo Bills’ defense.