6 (failed) LA Rams experiments that deserve a 2023 mulligan
RB Cam Akers as RB1
There is no shortage of passionate opinions over the performance of LA Rams running back Cam Akers. That's quite confusing, because he is one of the few NFL running backs who have suffered an Achilles Tendon injury, and yet now appears to have the potential to resume a fully productive NFL career. Are these just inconvenient facts? And yet, behind a patchwork offensive line, the guy was able to string together three consecutive games of at least 100+ rushing yards.
Shouldn't that be the type of performance that excites fans?
Fans sometimes ignore what happens on the football field if they believe for other reasons that the team should part ways with a player. And while the LA Rams, head coach Sean McVay, and RB Cam Akers appear to have resolved any former dispute amicably and are all are now on the same page, there are those who still hold a passionate grudge against Akers as a result.
The LA Rams offense was not very good all season, But in the final games, Akers was able to rush for over 100 yards in three consecutive games. That may not excite fans, but it's certainly exciting to the Rams coaching staff. If Akers can put up those type of numbers behind a patchwork offensive line, then shouldn't he be at least capable of doing so behind the Rams starting offensive line in 2023? I think so.
Just like mounting problems created a domino effect of adversity for the LA Rams in 2022, well placed solutions could have a similar effect in the positive direction. If Cam Akers can run for 100 yards in the early 2023 games, wouldn't that cause defensive fronts to cheat at more DBs in the box to stop the run? And if defenses push more DBs in the box, doesn't that open up the Rams passing game all the more? And if pass rushers must pause to determine if the Rams are running or passing on plays, wouldn't that give quarterback Matthew Stafford more time?
The LA Rams need a strong running game. As fans, shouldn't it be more about getting it done than who is getting it done? After all, if a player is productive and has earned the trust of the coaching staff, should we argue and decry the decision? In my mind, the Rams should embrace any tactic that gets the job done, regardless of the protests of fans.