What I have seen so far from the LA Rams ground game is a bit worrisome. Not the fact that the LA Rams rushed just 18 times out of 59 offensive snaps for 52 yards. Not the fact that the LA Rams did not score on the ground. My concern was that in a game where the LA Rams offensive line was clearly outmatched, where veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked seven times and pressured at least twice as often, the Rams had no plan B.
Not two tight ends. Not a blocking back. The Rams clearly convinced themselves that running one tight end, three wide receivers, and one running back would create so much uncertainty in the defense as to what the Rams were doing, that yards would come in big clumps.
It didn’t. The LA Rams offense either nails the game plan that the defense wasn’t looking for from the opening, or it will be a long game.
But here’s the good thing. It can be fixed.
The LA Rams have other options at running back. The Rams have other options for running plays. But it’s going to come down to running the football.
The Buffalo Bills had their ears pinned back and did nothing to defend the running game in the second half.
The LA Rams had 27 first down plays. Of those first-down plays, the Rams rushed on 12 of the first 18 such plays and then flipped to nearly all passes. It was quite predictable, a pattern of chess moves that went: Pawn, Rook, King repeating. The simple solution is? Break the pattern.
We know that in the second half, Darrell Henderson ran more effectively. Seven rushes for 24 yards was not only positive yards, but it was no interceptions and it was a play where quarterback Matthew Stafford was not getting tossed to the ground.
The LA Rams can and should plan for more of the same from defenses that the team will face going forward. That means, varying the looks. Activate Roger Carter if need be as a blocking tight end. Activate RB Trey Ragas to have a bigger running back on the football field. The name of the game right now is to put up a balanced offensive attack. To do that, the Rams have to exert more offense than Stafford to Kupp.
You may not like it today. But when the postseason comes around and both Stafford and Kupp are still healthy, you will be glad you did.