Even though the LA Rams are entering their BYE week, there is a lot to ponder, analyze, and discuss regarding the first third of the season for this 3-3 team. For starters, we know that the LA Rams won a vitally important game to climb back to .500. But in doing so, the Rams rushed 27 times for 114 yards (removing QB Matthew Stafford’s two scrambles for -3 yards) and two touchdowns.
While that may be a topic for discussion in its own right, an even more curious fact is that the Rams rushed seven different players on the day. With the Rams displaying near adversity toward running the football earlier in the season, what’s up with that?
I think we may have the answer.
We had posed the question about this LA Rams offense more than a week ago over the confusion of whether the Rams offense simply could not be fixed, or whether the Rams coaching staff was not fixing it. At the time, it was a relevant question. The Rams’ inability to establish a running attack was crippling their chances of winning games. But the team not only ran poorly but seldom ran the football whatsoever.
And so there was no way to know if the Rams couldn’t run the football, or simply didn’t run the football.
Is the problem RB or OL for the Rams?
At the start of the 2022 NFL season, the Rams’ offensive line suffered numerous injuries. But even before those injuries occurred, the offense skewed playcalling towards the passing game. As injuries piled up, the Rams showed more and more bias to call passing plays. If and when runs were attempted, they seldom struck pay dirt. Fans simply concluded that the offensive line could not open running lanes.
Yet, more and more evidence has surfaced suggesting that is simply not true. The LA Rams are getting running lanes opened by the offensive line. But whether it’s a missed block by a tight end or blocking back or the running back fails to turn into the running lane, the Rams offense has left a lot of positive yards on the football field.
To prove the point, the Rams rushed seven different players in their Week 6 contest. Rams running backs rushed 20 times for 58 yards and one touchdown and averaged 2.9 yards per run. Rams wide receivers rushed seven times for 56 yards and a touchdown, averaging 8.0 yards per run.
Clearly, the experiment was rough, as WRs rushing attempts were based on misdirection and deception, while the RBs plunged directly into the line of scrimmage, whether or not a running lane opened up. Still, based on that performance, it seems as though the problem lies in the quality of runners on the roster.
With the NFL Trade Deadline rapidly approaching as of November 1st, 2022, at 1:00 pm PT, the Rams front office needed to be sure which position needs to be addressed. I believe that they have a pretty good idea now.