How much of an impact will LA Rams OC Mike LaFleur have in Wild Card Round?

Los Angeles Rams, Mike LaFleur
Los Angeles Rams, Mike LaFleur / Tyler Schank/GettyImages

The LA Rams offense has benefitted by some new wrinkles this season. The surprisingly effective running of second-year running back Kyren Williams is only one of a multitude of new gadgets, buttons, switches, and levers that have been installed into the Rams offensive control panel. And since the Week 10 BYE, the Rams offense has been one of the most dangerous and proficient offenses in the NFL.

No brag, just fact.

You can cite the string of top NFL defenses that the Rams had to face in recent weeks. The Rams had to play against the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, the New Orleans Saints, and finally the San Francisco 49ers. With each new game, with each new challenge, the Rams offense was able to move the football, put up points, and with the lone exception of traveling to play the Ravens during a deluge, win the game.

Perhaps the most surprising win of the entire 2023 NFL season is the victory engineered by Rams backup quarterback Carson Wentz against the rival San Francisco 49ers. Not only was much of the game a contest between Rams backups vs. 49ers starters, but the Rams offense benefitted by getting much of the play-calling duties from Rams Offensive Coordinator Mike LaFleur. That was confirmed by LA Rams HC Sean McVay in a post-game interview:

"“Yeah, we did what we did today because we went off of wristband and [Los Angeles Rams Offensive Coordinator] Mike LaFleur did a great job calling it today. Mike has been instrumental. There were some operational things relative to using the wristband, the comfort, the familiarity there. I have so much confidence in Mike. He could do that, but that was what we felt was the best approach. We'll go back to our standard, normal operating procedures next week. But I cannot say enough good things about what Carson (Wentz) did, and what the overall operations were, and Mike LaFleur is such a stud. I mean, he has been so instrumental in all the good things that have occurred offensively. The way that he has helped me, the way that he's been able to lead our operation with the coaches and the players. He is a stud and I am really grateful for him. He did an awesome job today.”"

Post game Sean McVay

Now the question is, with the success in Week 18 in the books, how much of an impact will LA Rams OC Mike LaFleur have in the Wild Card Round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs?

I believe that he may have a greater impact that many realize. With his success in Week 18, Rams HC Sean McVay has to feel warm and fuzzy about delegating greater responsibilities to his offensive coordinator. And in postseason competition, the Rams get a clear advantage by toggling different styles of play-calling duties between McVay and LaFleur, if for no other reason than to keep the Lions defense guessing all day.