LA Rams OL appears to have regressed. But here's what fans need to know

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Ryan Wendell
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Ryan Wendell / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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Well, the LA Rams gave up their first quarterback sack of the 2023 NFL season. Despite the bravado of a new and improved offensive line, the Rams seemed to fall into a familiar pattern of allowing too much pressure against the formidable defensive front of the San Francisco 49ers. But before you turn from bullish to bearish on the Rams offensive line, let's investigate the underlying factors that led to that first sack.

For starters, let's agree to two things. The Rams pass blocking was not great against the 49ers. In fact, the Rams offensive line allowed a lot of quarterback pressures in Week 2. But let's not ignore the other half of the equation, in that the Rams allowed just one quarterback sack. So after two games, the Rams offensive line is averaging just 0.5 quarterback sacks per game.

And an upright LA Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford is a rather dangerous Stafford. In fact, Stafford is averaging 320.5 passing yards per game so far. That's a phenomenal pace.

Rams lost offensive balance, and lost the ability to protect Stafford

So how bad was it in Week 2? On the surface, it appeared that the LA Rams offensive line regressed. Of course, that's bound to happen when facing a 49ers defensive front that is every bit as dominating as last year's defense. Plus the team added a very potent defensive lineman in former Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Javon Hargrave.

The Rams had to deal with an injury to right guard Joe Noteboom, and the arrival of backup right guard Tremayne Anchrum afforded the ever-opportunistic 49ers defensive front to stunt and force the Rams new configuration to deal with pressure aimed at pushing the interior offensive linemen to the brink. And for the most part, that strategy worked.

So on paper, the Rams struggled in Week 2. But I've been suggesting that there are mitigating circumstances. So what are those circumstances that should squelch the concerns of Rams fans right now?