After taking a look at QB, the roundtable moves on to RB. This year the Rams were expected to be a run heavy team, but that hasn't been the case. The Rams have passed 258 times vs only 201 rushes. Steven Jackson was also expected to yet again be the bell cow, but rookie Daryl Richardson keeps getting more and more carries each week. The Rams now have a legitimate one-two punch with Jackson and Richardson.
How have they performed so far this season?
C - Both running backs have shown the ability to carry the load & be productive but neither do it.
C+ - They can run, sometimes they can't...aren't scoring TDs and that's a problem. The only reason for the + is that we have a legitimate back-up now.
C - Jackson is on his last legs showing age as it takes him forever to get to a hole, Richardson is a breath of fresh air but is not a Rb1, hopefully they trade Jax on Tuesday and Rams can see what Ganaway has. Pead is a wasted pick at this point.
C+ - It's hard to watch Steven Jackson struggle to be the player that he once was - especially knowing that his time with the team is now dwindling - while his carries are increasingly being taken away by the rookies. That's good for the Rams going ahead. Daryl Richardson has looked every bit like the steal of the 2011 draft. He is fourth among rookie backs in rushing yards. Isaiah Pead finally showed his promise in New England. Still, the team has only one score from of this group through eight games.
C - Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson has disappeared in games, mostly because of play calling, and also the offensive line hasn't always blocked good for them. With an improved offensive line there should be holes for the running backs.
C - While the one-two punch of Jackson and Richardson looks decent, neither running back has a 100 yard effort this year. Collectively, they gain enough yards to be a Alfred Morris or Matt Forte, yet neither Rams RB has shown themselves to be a threat in the red zone. In the New England game, Jackson only carried the ball seven times for 23 yards. He caught two passes for 22 yards. In a game this big, you'd hope a marque running back would do more, wouldn't you? While the OL may be part of the problem, when all is said and done they are a middle of the NFL pack RB duo.
B - Darryl Richardson has been a huge surprise, and I don't think people realize how lucky the Rams are to have someone like him (drafted second to last!). Steven Jackson has lost a step or two, clearly, but he's still easily capable of breaking of large gains if the offensive line can open up holes for him. Clearly, Richardson is the back of the future, and I think I'm happy with that.
B - The Rams are averaging 4.2 yards per rush. That is not bad, but it also is not good, but as bad as the offensive line is at pass blocking, they be as equally inept at run blocking. Jackson and Richardson have not had room to run, but yet they are able to keep the Rams running game effective, though Brain Schottenheimer routinely abandons the run game late in game.