Running back problems
Unfortunately, the struggles at running the football become a bit more complicated than that. To have an effective rushing attack, the offensive line must block well. But the running back who is carrying the football must keep his head up, spot the running lanes as they are created, and hit the holes with speed and power.
That really is not happening when the Rams had the football off to RB Cam Akers. In fact, on more than one occasion, Akers clearly got the football, put his head down, and ran right into the arms of the waiting defender. The problem is that had he kept his head up and changed his direction, a running lane had opened up with the potential for a huge gain.
Will Cam Akers ever be the same?
The Rams have committed to running Cam Akers this season. Unfortunately, it appears from the early season results that the team has backed the wrong horse.
Running the football, particularly in the modern NFL, is not a one-man task any longer. In fact, the Rams have their 2020 running back committee on the roster now in RB Malcolm Brown, RB Cam Akers, and RB Darrell Henderson Jr. So why only run Akers? Akers has rushed 51 times. Henderson has rushed 34 times. Brown has not rushed once.
Of course, the Rams have been a bit creative and helped out their rushing attack by playing WR Ben Skowronek as a blocking back. That seemed to help, as the Rams averaged 5.0 yards per run and scored two touchdowns as a result. But despite the temporary success, the window closed on that innovation and the Rams are doing more of the same.