When it comes to the LA Rams and discussions about excellence on the offensive side of the ball, there may not be many positives that have carried over from the 2022 NFL season into 2023. Whether it was injured starters who simply were unable to play, or the players who competed despite the injury-riddled Rams roster, the Rams offense was bad in 2022.
How bad was it?
The LA Rams offense finished dead last in yards, averaging just 280.5 yards per game. The Rams offense did a bit better in scoring, averaging 18.1 points per game, which was good enough to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for 26th place in the NFL among 32 teams. The Rams had the 27th ranked passing offense (182.8 yards per game) and the 27th ranked rushing offense (97.7 yards per game). The Rams offense even ranked 22nd in giveaways,
So what possible bright spot from last season can be carried over into Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season? Well, believe it or not, Rams RB Cam Akers finished the 2022 NFL season by putting up three consecutive games with 100+ yards rushing. One of the teams that he found success against was the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams Week 1 opponent this season.
And RB Cam Akers is pissed off enough to extend that streak today.
Akers is rough, buff, and the right stuff to gain yards this week
One of the top stories out of the 2023 Rams training camp was the fact that Cam Akers had added muscle. Not just slimming down, but actually bulking up with more muscle. So what? Well, if you take a gander at his NFL career so far, you will notice that with the exception of his Achilles Tendon injury in 2021, Akers has been developing into a true featured running back in the LA Rams offense:
- 2020 | 145 carries | 625 yards | 2 TDs | 4.3 YPC
- 2021 | 5 carries | 3 yards | 0 TDs | 0.6 YPC
- 2022 | 188 carries | 786 yards | 7 TDs | 4.2 YPC
if his current rate of usage and improvements hold true this season, he should end the year with 220-240 carries, more than 1,000 yards, and 10 TDs. The Rams have not enjoyed a single RB who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a single season since star running back Todd Gurley was able to do so in 2018.
Akers has a real shot at breaking that 1K plateau this season. Not only has he been steadily improving, but the Rams offensive strategy appears to be far more run-friendly this year. That can only mean huge games for Akers, who strung together three 100+ yard games last year behind a makeshift offensive line.
Of course, Coleman Shelton was the starting center for all three games, and it appears as though he will start for the Rams at center this year. So what did the games look like?
- Week 16 - Denver Broncos | 23 carries | 118 yards | 5.1 YPC | 3 TDs
- Week 17 - @ Los Angeles Chargers | 19 carries | 123 yards | 6.5 YPC | 0 TDs
- Week 18 - @ Seattle Seahawks | 21 carries | 104 yards | 5.0 YPC | 0 TDs
- Week 1 - @ Seattle Seahawks | TBD
This is not a streak that simply pads stats or helps to promote Cam Akers' career. The LA Rams have a vested interest in running well, and Akers is on a hot streak right now. If you have the option to do so, I would start Rams RB Cam Akers on my Fantasy Football team this week.
My Prediction: If the Rams offense gives Akers 20 or more carries today, he will get 100+ yards on the ground. That may or may not ensure a win. But it should keep Matthew Stafford injury-free.