LA Rams Cam Akers 1st RB to get 100+ yard game in ’22

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have struggled at getting their offense on track. And for much of the season, while many argued that the Rams couldn’t run due to injured offensive linemen, I noticed a different type of problem with the team’s inability to run with the football. In short, the LA Rams’ offense struggled to put points on the scoreboard. But if the opponents scored and took a lead, suddenly the Rams would feature an almost non-stop passing attack that fooled nobody.

You can’t run the football if you don’t run the football. To emphasize that point, let’s look at the Rams’ number of rushing attempts per game versus the final score of each game.

  • Week       Opponent           # Runs      # Passes    Outcome
  1.      1             Bills                      18              41               L  10-31
  2.      2             Falcons                26             36               W 31-27
  3.      3             at Cardinals        20             25               W 20-12
  4.      4             at 49ers               18             48               L  24-9
  5.      5             Cowboys              15             44               L  22-10
  6.      6             Panthers              29             33              W  24-10
  7.      7             BYE
  8.      8             49ers                    21              33               L   31-14
  9.      9             at Buccaneers    24              27               L  16 – 13
  10.   10             Cardinals              20              37               L   27 – 17
  11.   11             at Saints               30             28                L   27 – 20
  12.   12             at Chiefs               28              24               L  26 – 10
  13.   13             Seahawks            33              26               L  27-23
  14.   14             Raiders                 22              35               W 17-16
  15.   15             at Packers            17              22               L   24-12
  16.   16             Broncos                 36             28               W 51-14
  17.   17             at Chargers          TBD
  18.   18             at Seahawks        TBD

So why did it take 15 games before the LA Rams finally had a 100-yard rushing game out of a running back this season? Simply stated, the Rams entered halftime with a 31-6 lead and that is why the team was content to continue to run with the football.

The Rams can run if they choose to run

But perhaps more than that. Since returning from the penalty box for voicing his concerns to head coach Sean McVay over what was the lack of commitment to the running game, RB Cam Akers has been tearing it up as of late. Through his first nine games, Akers rushed 84 times for 274 yards and one touchdown. But in his last four games, all in December 2022, Akers has rushed 64 times for 285 yards and six touchdowns.

And all signs are pointing to his running improving as the season goes on. In his past two games, he’s rushed 35 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns. That works out to a rushing average of 5.23 yards per carry. If the Rams did not fall behind the Green Bay Packers in Week 15, Akers was on track to run for 108 yards had he carried the football just 20 times. But he only carried the football 12 times.

The LA Rams already have 13 rushing touchdowns this year, which is three more than the entire 2021 NFL season’s total of 10. And right now, RB Cam Akers is running in his former form before his Achilles injury.

Does this mean that the Rams’ running game is fixed? Not quite. But it does prove that the Rams can run the football. Does the return of Coach Thomas Brown overseeing the Rams running back group have anything to do with the sudden trust in the running game once more?

Whatever else you may conclude from this game, one thing is certain. The LA Rams can run the football. And Cam Akers won’t give up being the featured RB without a fight.

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