How successful can the LA Rams team be in 2023 with a good offense?
By Bret Stuter
Rams offensive goal II
The Detroit Lions offense took most of the pressure off quarterback Jared Goff by committing to a viable running game. Not only did the team have a solid feature back in Jamaal Williams, who rushed for more than 1000 yards and 17 touchdowns on 262 carries (4.1 YPC), but they also boasted RB D'Andre Swift who put up 542 yards and five touchdowns on 99 carries (5.5 YPC). For 2023, the Lions are committing to Swift, and free agent running back David Montgomery.
For comparisons sake, the LA Rams ground game was led by feature back Cam Akers, who rushed for 786 yards and seven touchdown on 188 attempts (4.2 YPC). The next leading rusher was former Rams RB Darrell Henderson Jr., who put up 283 yards and three touchdowns on 70 attempts (4.0 YPC). This year, the LA Rams will likely feature Akers and second year RB Kyren Williams. But if the team wants to gell on offense, the Rams have to commit to the running game, and find some way to get Kyren Williams involved by optimizing his production.
Akers is also quite effective at pass blocking. Until another running back can do better, you have to presume that Akers will be the LA Rams feature back in 2023.
Offensive line? Check
Of course, the LA Rams offense will get nowhere if the team does not effectively address the offensive line. To fans, that means shedding all but a handful of offensive linemen and then loading up on rookies who will need more than one season to learn their roles. But to the Rams coaching staff, it seems more and more likely as though the team is confident that they have the right players. Now, they simply need to arrange the most effective starting line from the group.
There is some precedence to attempting that strategy. The LA Rams 2019 offensive line was horrible, ravaged by injuries. But without investing in that offensive line, the Rams 2020 offensive line was among the NFL's best. That happened because the Rams did not panic, and did not listen to the fans who were calling for the Rams to draft 3-4 offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Draft.
A reconfigured offensive line could be very effective this year for the Rams. Same players, but reset who starts and where, and the Rams roster for their 2023 offensive line could be every bit as successful as their 2020 season.
Rams offensive goal II: Commit to the running game. Unlock Kyren Williams's potential