How long has it been since a LA Rams running back played a 100-yard game for a running back? Okay, I’ll give you a hint. This hasn’t happened until today in the 2021 NFL season. Last time around, rookie running back Cam Akers scored 131 rushing yards in the NFL Playoff Wild Card round against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan.9, 2021.
What about the regular season? The last time the LA Rams took advantage of a 100-yard rushing effort on the ground was on December 10, 2020, against the New England Patriots, when rookie rusher Cam Akers netted 171 yards.
I don’t know why this happens, but sometimes the coaching team thinks too much about the fundamentals of football. If the defenses target the quarterback and double the coverage, then it’s a simple matter of throwing the ball and making them pay the price. Today? The LA Rams ran 27 times for 128 yards and a touchdown. While it all might not seem like much, it was huge.
Slow trigger again
The offensive started slowly today. It was thanks to a 65-yard kickoff return from Brandon Powell that allowed the team to score the first goal, a 40-yard field goal. It was a forced fumble that returned football to the offense on the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-yard line that established the touchdown. Although the LA Rams generated just 39 attacking yards, the team took a 10-0 lead.
The LA Rams offensive first spat. But thanks to the running game and a quick lead, it was enough to let the rest of the team catch up. At halftime, the Rams led by 16-7.
Put the game in reverse and watch this one over and over again. It was the style of LA Rams football that we came to know and love under the guidance of head coach Sean McVay. It was a team that played physical football. This team finally had answers to the questions of the season. The offensive controlled the clock. The defense remained rested. And the LA Rams won by a huge margin.
The lesson learned can also be repeated next week
Uh, wait a minute? It was the Jacksonville Jaguars. Can the LA Rams repeat that type of success by repeating a similar effort against the Arizona Cardinals? Why not? The LA Rams made two turnovers, lost possession time by a huge margin, but won penalties. The LA Rams rushed 23 times for 121 yards against the Cardinals, despite the fact that offense could easily move football on the ground, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
If the Rams don’t return football, but instead get two turnovers against the Arizona Cardinals? Then it’s the LA Rams who take a 10-point lead and the Arizona Cardinals who are forced to play from behind.
If you really want to shake up the NFL playoff projections, look for an LA Rams win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14. While that does nothing to immediately change the playoff spots, this will put both the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the discussion for the NFC seed.
No, the LA Rams didn’t suddenly get back on track. But they run the game effectively, create turnovers and gain possession time. Perhaps most of all, this team finally looks like a team that will do whatever it takes to win once again.