Why resurging Rams RB Cam Akers final game is so vital
By Bret Stuter
Reason III: The Rams need positive momentum to carry into 2023
The LA Rams have suffered some unbelievable, and at times surreal, setbacks through the course of the 2022 NFL season. This was an offense that, for lack of a better narrative, failed to live up to the lofty expectations set by the previous season’s Super Bowl-winning performance. And when we say failed to live up to, we mean by a country mile.
The Rams’ offense not only struggled over injuries but in the effort to adopt successful strategies in the face of those injuries. That became quite apparent when the LA Rams fell behind, and the team began to throw to wide receiver Cooper Kupp on almost every offensive play from that point in time forward. If the team did mix up the play calling, it was to target tight end, Tyler Higbee. Despite playing in just nine games, Kupp continues to lead the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards.
When Rams run, Rams score
But that fixation to get the ball to Kupp came at a price, and the price was the offense abandoning all semblance of a running attack for much of the season. Even with the LA Rams offense turning to a run-based attack in the past two games (62 running plays versus 47 running plays), the Rams offense for the season continues to be skewed towards the passing game.
The Rams’ offense starts with the running game. That’s just the way it is, no matter who is running the football, who is passing the football, or even who is blocking on the Rams’ offensive line. Running the football keeps defenses guessing, as they cannot just sell out to chase down a quarterback as that places them completely out of position to defend the run. Unfortunately, the Rams’ offense never seemed to employ that simple fact.
But as the Rams have committed to running the football, the team’s offensive output, as streakish as it has been, has improved. Even in losing two out of the last three games, the Rams have scored 73 points or an average of 24.3 points per game. Even with those games being included in the team’s seasonal average, that is more than a touchdown per game better than this offense has played through the 2022 NFL season.