The LA Rams are not the type of team that can succeed in spite of offensive turnovers. When the Rams lose the turnover battle, this team loses games. The problem that the team faces is a simple fact that their veteran quarterback, Matthew Stafford, is going to throw the football. And making the matter more complicated than ever is a wide range of factors.
The LA Rams are no longer fettered to the play-action playbook that the offense depended upon so heavily during the tenure of QB Jared Goff. In fact, the Rams’ ability to run the football is not going to fool anyone, as it is the 31st-ranked rushing offense in the NFL.
Even worse, thanks to the huge loss to force a safety in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons, the Rams’ average yards per rush is an abysmal 2.7 yards. That is the worst in the NFL.
Didn’t Detroit do this too?
Without a strong running game, the Rams are manufacturing an excessive burden upon veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. When the Rams first traded for QB Matthew Stafford, the team had just had a renaissance with the running game in 2020, ranking 10th best in the NFL and averaging 126.1 yards on the ground per game, and better than a rushing touchdown per game as well.
The Rams believed that plopping the passing prowess of Stafford into the team’s track record of running the football well would be the best of both worlds. Well, that didn’t happen.
Instead, the Rams’ rushing ability plummeted in 2021. Not only did the Rams’ rushing attack plummet by 27.1 yards per game (a drop of 21.5 percent), but the Rams’ ability to score on the ground dropped by nine touchdowns, or nearly 50 percent less. If not for the LA Rams’ late commitment to the run in December 2021, the team’s annual totals would have been decidedly worse.
It was Rams RB Sony Michel’s 540 yards and three touchdowns over the last six games of the 2021 NFL season that buoyed the Rams’ rushing attack for the season. Why the need to focus on the running offense? The LA Rams had lost three consecutive games. And during that losing streak, QB Matthew Stafford threw 78 of 127 passes for 839 yards, five touchdowns, and five interceptions.
Where are the Rams today with Stafford? 56 of 77 passes for 512 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. Is a pattern developing?