Rams rushing attacks hits Top 3 ranking in this critical category in 2023

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Kyran Williams
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Kyran Williams / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages

One of the areas that I had been concerned about with the LA Rams is the running game. Since the release of RB Todd Gurley, the rushing attack had been sporadic at best. Well, at least until the team seemed to refocus on football fundamentals in 2023, and the bolstered ground assault that soon followed.

While we can acknowledge the incredible rushing of second year RB Kyren Williams, we are missing the mark if we do not start off by crediting the team's offensive line. When the team finally settled on a starting five consisting of Alaric Jackson, Steve Avila, Coleman Shelton, Kevin Dotson, and Rob Havenstein, yards seemed to come in droves no matter who was running with the football.

Where the team truly showed up huge is the way the offense suddenly found the means to grind it out with a second-half lead. Unlike the recent past, when the team was unable to grind it out to win games, this offense found the strength of will to move the chains despite the defense knowing that a running play was coming.

To prove that point, just check out the list of how effective all 32 NFL teams were at running with the football in 2023 with a second half lead:

Since the list is inverted, (worst to best), let me share the top three rushing offenses from 2023:

  1. Miami Dolphins - +0.19
  2. Philadelphia Eagles - +0.11
  3. LA Rams - +0.07
  4. Baltimore Ravens - +0.03
  5. Arizona Cardinals - +0.01

That mildly surprised me.

So what does that all mean?

For starters, it means that the offense can run the football well when it has to run. That is great news for a team, and a head coach, that often abandoned the run because it proved to be ineffective. It is far easier to commit to run as long as the team is gaining yards.

But it also means that the Rams have already seen positive results from investing in their offensive line. Not only in hiring OL Coach Ryan Wendell and OL Consultant Mike Munchak, but the team found amazing results from rookie Steve Avila and veteran RG Kevin Dotson.

That performance compelled the team to extend Dotson as well as invest even more resources into the offensive line with veteran LG Jonah Jackson. With that signing, the Rams will move C/G Steve Avila to the center position.

The best thing for veteran QB Matthew Stafford at this stage of his career is to benefit from a strong running game. That not only takes the pressure off him to deliver game winning drives while the defense knows that passes are coming, but it slows down the pass rush as the defenders must play honestly to prevent big running gains. So far, that is exactly what this offense is doing.

I love this new-founded strength of the offense. How about you? As always, thanks for re