Can LA Rams rally around RB Cam Akers with ‘tough love’?

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 4

The situation with the LA Rams and running back Cam Akers has come full circle. Once more, the LA Rams coaches and players are trying to welcome Cam Akers back from a prolonged absence. Once more the hope is that Akers can contribute to what can only be described as a deeply disappointing rushing attack by the LA Rams offense.

The Rams are averaging just 68.4 yards on the ground per game. There is only one team worse than that, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers average just 61.9 yards rushing per game. This week, the LA Rams face the Buccaneers.  It’s safe to say that pregame expectations are to see lots of passing.

But the problem is not as simple as the conclusion that the Rams cannot run the ball, nor is it a matter of the offensive line not blocking well enough to create rushing lanes. The Rams do not run the ball, period. So how can the team be good at something that they do only half as often as the Chicago Bears?

LA Rams have no RB continuity either

And therein lies the problem that sparked the confrontation between RB Cam Akers and head coach Sean McVay. It’s not just different philosophy, but a completely different value system. Coach McVay loves to pass, loves to take his shots, and loves to have the game decided through the air. How can we tell?

Think back to McVay’s comments after the 2020 NFL season. In that season, the LA Rams’ rushing attack landed among the NFL’s Top-10. The comments at the end of that season were that the Rams wanted to have a more explosive offense.  At the end of the 2020 season, the Rams’ offense was the 23rd-ranked scoring offense.  Right now? The Rams are the 28th-ranked scoring offense and are scoring nearly a full touchdown less per game.

Must Read. Los Angeles Rams: 15 greatest running backs of all-time. light

In 2020, the Rams rushed 473 times. That works out to nearly 30 running plays per game. This year, the Rams are rushing only 21 rushing attempts per game. In 2020, the Rams rushed five players more than 10 times through the season. This season, the Rams have six players already at the 10 rushes mark, and that will likely increase to seven players as soon as the RB Kyren Williams gets healthy enough to start carrying the pigskin.