After watching the LA Rams struggle through the first five weeks of the 2022 NFL season, you have to ask, what is wrong with the Rams’ offense? Currently, the Rams have a 2-3 record and sit behind the San Fransisco 49ers for the first-place spot in the NFC West Division. But the Rams are not in a great spot right now.
After winning Super Bowl LVI last year, the Rams’ explosive offense has all but disappeared. Going into week six, the Rams are ranked 25th in passing offense and rushing offense, which is a rare sight under a Sean McVay-run offense. As of now, the Rams only have two plays that have gained 40+ yards, which is astonishing especially since the Rams are known for their explosive plays. What is the difference between this year’s and last year’s offense? Who is to blame for this lack of production: Is it the players? Or is it the coaches? What key addition or strategy can turn the Rams’ offense around?
LA Rams lack of offensive production
You can point fingers at multiple aspects as to why the Rams aren’t scoring points. But ultimately, it is a team effort. McVay needs to analyze what is wrong with his non-productive offense. For starters, it starts with the quarterback. Without solid quarterback play, the offense can’t move the ball.
Through the first five games of the regular season, Stafford has more interceptions than touchdowns. As of now, Stafford has thrown 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, which is rare for him to turn the ball over so much. Can Stafford still be bothered by his injured elbow? Or could it be that Stafford has zero time to throw the ball and has to rush the throws, due to the overwhelming number of injuries to the offensive line? Stafford has been sacked 21 times so far in this early season, which is tied with the Colts for the league’s worst.
LA Rams need to improve O-Line
The Rams’ offense is ranked 28th in the NFL in points scored, and their lack of offensive production clearly shows. Going into week six, the Rams only have three rushing touchdowns. Perhaps that is the result of numerous offensive line and offensive skill player injuries that have killed the LA Rams upfront.
The Rams only have a total of eight total touchdowns while the league-leading Chiefs have 20. As of now, the Rams are playing third-stringers at the center and right guard, plus a backup at left guard. It is tough to put up points with the majority of your starting offensive line missing.
The Rams have two best-case options. Either the team can wait for their starters to get healthy and try to stay afloat until that happens. Or the team can go out and try to pick up some veteran players who could make an immediate improvement until then. The Rams are going to continue to roll with the line they have and hope they can make some adjustments as they go on. Look for McVay to have some max protection sets for long down situations to give Stafford enough time to throw the ball down the field.
What is wrong with LA Ram Cam Akers?
Since returning from injury, running back Cam Akers has not been the same player. Whenever he is running with the football, Akers appears to be both timid and hesitant. Going into week six, Akers has amassed just 151 yards rushing on 51 attempts and one touchdown. Akers’ 151 yards are ranked 46th in the NFL. He is averaging roughly 3.0 yards a carry, which is far below average for a starting running back.
It is almost time to hit the panic button on Akers. The team is already reporting that Akers, although not injured, will be inactive for the team in Week 6. If he can’t turn it around, look for RB Darrell Henderson Jr. to take over as the lead running back.
With no rushing attack, the offense has far less chance of creating explosive plays. Opposing defenses can stick with their nickel or dime packages throughout the entire game. That has the effect of the time, limiting the Rams’ passing attack. If the Rams want more explosive plays, fix the running game. The two offensive schemes need to balance each other out.
Who can fix the Rams’ offense?
The Rams’ current struggles are rather complex, which means that there are no easy fixes. But there is one veteran that can help the Rams get back on track. Once the offensive line gets healthy, Stafford will have more time to complete the deep ball. Also, with a healthy line, the running game will start opening up.
Once the Rams get healthy, the veteran quarterback needs to have a second reliable wide receiver to throw to. Besides Cooper Kupp, the Rams’ starting wide receivers seem to be struggling at separating from defensive backs. WR Allen Robinson has been a disappointment so far, as he is getting very little production so far in the Rams’ offense. As soon as he is medically cleared to play, it’s obvious that t is time for the Rams to bring back WR Odell Beckham Jr.
OBJ and QB Matthew Stafford have excellent chemistry together. With OBJ’s big play ability, the Rams’ offense will likely become dangerous once more. Likewise, OBJ can help take the attention away from Kupp, which will free up Kupp and the other wide receivers to stretch defensive secondaries.
OBJ has been showing a lot of interest in returning to the Rams, but the two parties haven’t reached an agreement just yet. The main reason why the LA Rams made it to the Super Bowl last season was due, in part, to OBJ’s play-making ability. With LA Rams head coach Sean McVay disappointed in his Rams’ struggling offense, he knows it is time to re-sign the former Rams wide receiver.
Doing so will help the Rams return to their once-explosive offense.