8 optimistic observations from LA Rams opening loss

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Game Takeaways Darrell Henderson Jr.
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Optimistic Observation V: Rams RB Darrell Henderson ran efficiently

RB Darrell Henderson was on the cusp of a good game, but thanks to miscues, falling behind by 21 points, and a host of turnovers created on offense, the Rams never got into a rhythm. But, and we’ve argued this point ad infinitum in previous seasons as well when the offense is sputtering why not downshift the offense for a series or two?

While Henderson is not the guy who can carry the football 25-30 times per game, his 13 carries for 47 yards was the cream of the rushing crop in Game 1. The Rams simply need more from the rest of the RB room.

And they can get it with a blocking tight end, more emphasis on run blocking, and a game plan that is a bit more distributed.

So many fans are now saying that the Rams cannot run behind that porous offensive line. Well, I’m not certain that I agree. The Rams didn’t run, but they can run. Let’s break this one down.  The LA Rams rushed 18 times and passed 41 times for a total of 59 offensive snaps. Had the Rams rushed 29 times in the game, and passed 30 times, the following effects would likely have taken place.

QB Matthew Stafford would have thrown one fewer interception. The Rams would have rushed for 85 yards (on the assumption that a 2.9 yards per run would have been maintained). The Rams would have scored their ten points. Stafford would have been sacked two fewer times.

That’s assuming that not one of the Rams’ running plays would have broken it for big yardage.

The Rams faced a similar situation in 2020 against the Buffalo Bills. But in the second half, down by a ton of points, the team continued to run the football. The Rams did not do themselves any favors by setting up their initial 53-man roster with eight offensive linemen and two tight ends in terms of stockpiling resources for a strong running game.

And yet, Henderson rushed 13 times for 47 yards. That’s a good start to build upon.