Can Rams run with bigger backs?
So who will carry the football in Week 7? Well, the heavy burden of running the football with small running backs appears to be taking a toll on the Rams rushers once more. It's not that the Rams' preference is wrong. It simply comes down to the fact that the Rams tend to fixate on one or two players in the offense.
That pattern not only tends to burn out the offense's best performers early in the season, but it allows defenders to key on those oft-used offensive weapons. If they are bigger and more physical runners, it's not a problem. But 250-300 pound defenders rolling over on 190-pound running backs repeatedly wears down those small runners.
The Rams have a problem at running back for Week 7.
It looks like the Rams will need to depend on rookie RB Zach Evans and veteran RB Royce Freeman.
Can Rams optimize bigger runners?
I love the size and physicality of Royce Freeman in this Rams offense. Not only does he add a completely new dimension to the Rams offense, but he would be an ideal battering ram to soften defenses early in the game to allow the smaller scat backs to get huge chunks of yards in the later stages of football games.
Forget the screen plays. Forget running outside of the tackles. If the Rams are going to flourish by running Zach Evans and/or Royce Freeman, it's time to man up. The Rams have serious offensive guards who can blow through almost any defensive tackle, and it's time to let them fight with both hands.
Running between the tackles should be the main focus of this Rams offensive strategy. The Rams Week 7 opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, are ranked 29th in rushing defense by allowing an average of 143.8 rushing yards per game in five games this season. While that typically leads to the conclusion that the Rams would be well-served to feature a run-centric offensive game plan, that is never a safe bet when it comes to the LA Rams.
The problem is that the Steelers are simply not a good defense this season, and struggle to defend the pass as well. That is typically an open invitation for the Rams to throw caution to the wind and pass the football.