3 reasons to love LA Rams RB Cam Akers in 2023 - FF owners take notes

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Matthew Stafford, Cam Akers
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Matthew Stafford, Cam Akers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

If you have been a fan of the LA Rams for very long, it's almost impossible not to associate the LA Rams with an effective rushing attack. While that may not have been the LA Rams trademark since hiring head coach Sean McVay in 2017, the Rams ground game continued to dominate the NFL through the 2018 NFL season. Of course, the Rams have former running back Todd Gurley to thank for that.

But since 2018, the LA Rams rushing attack has been running backs by committee. Or at least some form or fashion of a committee approach. From 2019 through 2022, the LA Rams have not had the benefit of a 1000+ yards rusher. But the Rams were rather effective at running the football in 2020 as a whole. And the Rams were able to get some juice out of RB Sony Michel in 2021, as well as Cam Akers in 2022.

It was Cam Akers's final three games, each with 100+ rushing yards behind a makeshift offensive line, that led me to believe that he could very likely put up 1000+ rushing yards for the LA Rams this year. Why? Well, three reasons come to mind off the top of my head:

III: New Rams coaches love to run the football

From LA Rams new OC Mike LaFleur, to OL Coach Ryan Wendell, to RB Coach Ron Gould, the Rams coaching staff seemed to aim high for coaching talent. But more so than any other year, the Rams seemed to have a much stronger interest in coaches whose expertise were not simply passing the football, but who have a solid track record of successfully running the football.

To make an impression on his new RB coach, veteran running back Cam Akers arrived to the Rams training camp with more muscle than ever.

II: Cam Akers finished 2022 strong behind a patchwork OL

While the LA Rams have yet to boast a 1000+ yards of running offense in a single season over the past three seasons, Cam Akers is ideally positioned to deliver that this year. After all, the lessons learned about the LA Rams offense in 2022 would lead even the most reluctant coaches to agree that the Rams need to run more to offer QB Matthew Stafford more protection. And over the last three games of 2022, Cam Akers ran the football 63 times for 345 yards and three touchdowns.

Rudely projected over a full season, that works out to 357 carries for 1,955 yards and 17 touchdowns. While we know that is unlikely, I don't believe that 200 carries for 1,095 yards and 10 touchdowns is beyond reason.

I: It's Akers contract year

While the value of running backs has declined in modern day NFL rosters, the LA Rams are bucking the trend. For many reasons this year, the LA Rams offense needs a much stronger showing out of the running game. And it just so happens that will align with Cam Akers contract season this year. While Akers is projected to be a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) in 2024, he continues to have plenty of incentive to put up a career season

He is not injured. He is not coming back from a devastating injury. And perhaps best of all, he is not an NFL rookie. That all adds up to logically conclude that Akers' 2023 NFL season will best his rookie output of 625 yards, as well as his post Achilles Tendon injury 2022 season's 786 yards.

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Is 1000 yards so out of reach this season for a motivated Cam Akers? Not at all. In fact, i would be surprised if he does not overshoot that mark by a considerable margin this year.