The LA Rams offensive line is still subject to ridicule from casual Rams fans that have not followed the drama and struggles that the group has already had to endure this season. The Rams, similar to the 2022 NFL season, has not had the opportunity to get any form of continuity going this season. What do I mean?
Here is the way the Rams offensive line configuration has played out so far this season:
- Week 1 - Alaric Jackson - Steve Avila - Coleman Shelton - Joe Noteboom - Rob Havenstein
- Week 2 - Alaric Jackson - Steve Avila - Coleman Shelton - Joe Noteboom/Tremayne Anchrum Jr. - Rob Havenstein
- Week 3 - Alaric Jackson/Zach Thomas - Steve Avila - Coleman Shelton - Joe Noteboom/Tremayne Anchrum Jr. - Rob Havenstein
- Week 4 - Joe Noteboom - Steve Avila - Coleman Shelton - Kevin Dotson - Rob Havenstein
- Week 5 - Alaric Jackson - Steve Avila - Coleman Shelton/Brian Allen - Kevin Dotson - Rob Havenstein/Warren McClendon
The Rams find themselves in similar circumstances as that of one year ago. The Rams offense, despite signs that this team would attempt to run the football more often, has been unable to break the long standing traditions of not running the football often enough to give the offense a balanced attack.
It's the lack of balance that pushes this offensive line to the limit. Unlike a rushing offense that allows blockers to attack defenders, initiate the contact, and keep the offensive linemen in a healthy pattern of holding the upper hand, the Rams strategy is falling far too often into predictable patterns that have exposed offensive linemen to injuries in the past.
So far, the Rams' constant stream of injuries has taken a toll on the offense. But so has the insistence to pass more frequently than the game scenarios require. The point now is whether the Rams offensive line has hit some form of bedrock to allow the offensive line to field the same five starters, and perhaps turn the corner for the team.
The Rams may have reached a durable group of offensive linemen now. If this group can compete together for a string of games, then the Rams will begin to function better on offense, and will have a better chance of winning going forward.
The LA Rams offensive line has already shown to be better this season than 2022. But the team can help the offensive line out by rethinking how this team blends play calling, and how the team amplifies the usage of 12-personnel packages. The LA Rams face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6. The Cardinals defense allows teams to run at will against them, allowing an average of 124.2 rushing yards per game. Of course, the same Cardinals defense allows 251.4 passing yards per game.
If the Rams can get this offensive line on track in Week 6, that could be enough to build a solid season. But the LA Rams will need to be disciplined enough to run the football often enough to give this offensive line a foothold. If the LA Rams offensive line turns the corner in Week 6, how good will this team become?
I don't know the answer, but I would love to find out.