II: Rams running backs
It only takes one game for LA Rams fans to push for the release of veteran running back Cam Akers. After closing out the 2022 NFL season with three consecutive 100+ rushing yards in a game, Akers finished Week 1 with 22 rushes for 29 yards and one touchdown. While that may have been disappointing for Fantasy Football owners, it was incredibly effective for what the Rams needed in Week 1.
Let me explain. After the LA Rams (and the Seattle Seahawks) learned that veteran wide receiver Cooper Kupp would not suit up for this one, the Seahawks surmised that the Rams would lean heavily upon their running game to carry the load. While the Rams did indeed rush 40 times and only pass 38 times, the Seahawks secondary was shredded by a healthy and well-protected Stafford for 334 yards.
Rams have to do better in Week 2
While the Rams only gained 92 yards on the ground, that was enough to best the Seahawks formidable rushing attack that only generated 85 yards. And even better than that, the Rams punched the football in three times on the ground, resulting in a perfect Red Zone efficiency of 3 for 3 (100 percent).
Still, the Rams will have to do better in Week 2. As formidable as the Seattle Seahawks defense was in Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers defense will be that much better in Week 2. Not only are the 49ers a more talented defense on paper, but they now have the video footage from Week 1 to study, analyze, and dissect the Rams offensive strategy.
The Rams will not walk away with a win in Week 2 by rushing 40 times for 92 yards. It will likely require that the Rams double that output, rushing the football from 170 to 200 yards, to win in Week 2.