I: Rams need a big game from someone not named Nacua or Atwell
While the LA Rams have an entire array of offensive weapons, the Rams' offensive strategy is not disguised or camouflaged in the least. The Rams have locked into a pass-centric offensive game plan that features rookie WR Puku Nacua, will test the depth of the opposing secondary with a smattering of deep shots to WR Tutu Atwell, and will mix in the occasional pass or run to act as fillers.
The trouble starts when the LA Rams fail to adapt to defenses anticipating that offensive strategy. It's almost as though the Rams have to be bludgeoned repeatedly before the offense even tries to reroute the production through another player. And the offense grinds to a hard halt when the team becomes predictable.
That happened in 2021 when the Rams failed to incorporate veteran WR Robert Woods into the offense. It also happened with veteran WR DeSean Jackson demanded to get more involved in the offense, but instead was outright released. The Rams 2021 offense did not embrace veteran running back Sony Michel until Week 12, who promptly churned out several 100+ yards on the ground.
Wash, rinse, repeat strategy does not work for long
The same pattern developed in 2022 when the Rams failed to incorporate veteran WR Allen Robinson into the offense. The Rams did not give rookie WR Tutu Atwell any meaningful offensive snaps until the Rams roster was so depleted that the team did not have other options. And it was the outburst of the disgruntled Rams rusher Cam Akers that led to his showing up on the trade block a year ago. When he reconciled with the team, he was able to put up three consecutive 100+ yards on the ground.
It's a pattern that frustrates many fans and feeds right into the game planning of opposing defensive coordinators. The LA Rams offense worked very effectively in Week 1 because no pattern had yet been established. But as soon as the Rams showed their hand by passing primarily to rookie WR Puka Nacua and rushing RB Kyren Willams no more than 15 runs per game, defenses now know how to game plan to stop the Rams, and after scoring 30 points in that first game, the Rams offense has scored 23 points and 16 points respectively.
If the Rams self scout, they either ignore the messaging entirely, or nod as if they understand, but as soon as the football is snapped they fall into very predictable patterns. The LA Rams have other weapons on the offense. They must make a conscious and determined effort to do more than simply continue to throw to Puka Nacua as the primary target, throw to WR Tutu Atwell nine times, and rush RB Kyren Williams no more than 15 times per game.
Whether it's a game that targets tight end Tyler Higbee, tests the Colts secondary with deep passes to wide receiver Van Jefferson, or simply makes use of the versatility of WR Ben Skowronek in multiple offensive formations and positions, the Rams have got to shake things up. Since the Rams are elevating veteran RB Royce Freeman for Week 4, why not give the poor bastard a chance to actually carry the football and earn his way into an offense that clearly needs a power runner.
The more things change for this LA Rams roster, the more things change. No matter how the Rams front office assembles the roster, until the Rams show a willingness to try new strategies, this team is heading for another 2022 season that ends with a 5-12 record.