I seem to rather enjoy thinking outside of the box. Because of that, it is what I share with you all the most. My thoughts that some may not be thinking or are thinking but not saying. Right now is going to be one of those times that I share a different opinion that steers the opposite direction of what others are thinking. Allow me to welcome you to my newest series, The Food For Thought Collection. Where I simply throw out other possibilities that goes against everything that has been talked about the most, and sheds light on the other side of the consensus idea. This does not mean this is what I desire, expect, or encourage. It is simply what it is, another viewpoint.
What if the Jeff Fisher and Les Snead decided to take offense to another level. Our defense is good enough to go the playoffs the way it is right now. I actually am on record saying that "if the Broncos had our defense they would have won the Super Bowl". One thing that is for sure with us is that, we know we can and will run the ball. The problem is, so does everyone else. There are only two ways to avoid being stopped dead in your tracks with this basic philosophy and that is having two dimensions (power and speed runs), or creating balance and airing it out.
The Broncos are one way of looking at it. They are very one dimensional. They threw the ball 65% of the time and 75% of those throws are screens, crossing routes, or pick routes. They lack both a running game and solid defense. Not a dominate one, just needed a solid one. Another example of one dimensional gone wrong would be the Chiefs. Their defense is legit. Super Bowl caliber without question. But they only run halfback screens and zone runs. It is far too easy to stop their offense.
The Rams are falling in line with these two teams. They lack a creative offensive mind on offense -which is fine when you have balance- and they lack balance. We lived and died by the power run this year, and it cost us quite a few games. Even before going with a run heavy approach, we were still stubborn with our running plays. Remember week one against the Cardinals? We refused to put Daryl Richardson on the perimeter where he is at his best. "No, lets just keep running him into this wall in-between the tackles."
Well, what if we decided to balance things out and went with more speed and more power all over the offense? Creating a big massive offensive interior so that we can continue with our power but be even better, but also have guys quick footed enough to pull and be great at the next level as well as in space. And how about adding more speed and more size to our skill positions?
|3||San Francisco 49ers||16||25.4||406||505||31.6||2,201||4.4||137.6||18||51||115||22.8||20||3||7|
|6||New York Jets||16||18.1||290||493||30.8||2,158||4.4||134.9||12||69||105||21.3||14||2||7|
|7||Green Bay Packers||16||26.1||417||459||28.7||2,136||4.7||133.5||17||67||119||25.9||11||5||7|
|9||New England Patriots||16||27.8||444||470||29.4||2,065||4.4||129.1||19||47T||110||23.4||12||2||10|
|10||Kansas City Chiefs||16||26.9||430||442||27.6||2,056||4.7||128.5||17||46||110||24.9||13||1||8|
|13||San Diego Chargers||16||24.8||396||486||30.4||1,965||4.0||122.8||9||51||104||21.4||7||2||5|
|19||St. Louis Rams||16||21.8||348||426||26.6||1,752||4.1||109.5||10||65T||82||19.2||11||4||6|
The Rams Finished the season ranked
- 19th in yards per game
- Tied for 17th in ave per carry
- Tied 10th in runs for 20+ yards
- Tied 23rd in TD runs
Not exactly the amazing numbers that some may like to think we had rushing the football. In fact after week 12 against the Bears, teams realized the Rams were only going to run power with Zac Stacy and every so often run play action and throw to either the full back running to the flat or a speed out. Over the final five games the rams rushing totals were as so, 137 att, 501 yds, and 3.65 ypc. And with out the two runs by receivers -Tavon Austin vs Arizona 56 yds & Stedman Bailey vs Tampa Bay 27 yds- that ypc drops to 3.09.
The Receiving game was not much better -I won't mention the passing because we know what happened there- but it was in fact worse.
|2||New Orleans Saints||16||25.9||414||446||5,162||11.6||322.6||76T||39||67||15||244||54.7||1|
|5||Green Bay Packers||16||26.1||417||366||4,538||12.4||283.6||83T||25||65||11||201||54.9||3|
|6||San Diego Chargers||16||24.8||396||378||4,478||11.8||279.9||60T||32||60||6||230||60.8||4|
|10||New England Patriots||16||27.8||444||380||4,343||11.4||271.4||81T||25||49||8||225||59.2||2|
|20||New York Giants||16||18.4||294||325||3,875||11.9||242.2||70T||18||54||7||176||54.2||4|
|25||Kansas City Chiefs||16||26.9||430||333||3,561||10.7||222.6||71T||24||45||7||179||53.8||5|
|29||St. Louis Rams||16||21.8||348||301||3,360||11.2||210.0||81T||22||41||5||165||54.8||3|
The rams finished with some mediocre stats as well as some pathetic ones
- 29th in yards per game
- Tied for 25th in yards per catch
- 29th in catches 20+ yards
- 32nd in catches 20+ yards
- Tied for 20th in TDs
Needless to say this was a sorry showing from a talented group. But what if in the upcoming draft the team put a twist on things? What if the offense dominated a defensive minded coaching staffs draft? One thing one would think in regards to specializing in one area of the game is that you know how to beat yourself. So surely this staff knows how to beat even the best of defenses. I wonder how the team would perform if our play calling was 50/50 pass/run, and 50/50 power/speed plays, as well as with a draft like this;
- Trade pick two to the Browns for 4, 26, next years 2nd
- Trade pick 13 to the packers for 21, 53, next years 2nd
- Trade 26 to the Broncos for 31 and 95
- Trade 4t, 5th, and 7th to Atlanta for 68
- Trade 6th and next yr 2nd to buffalo for 73
- Resign Roger Saffold
1A. Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
1B. Kelvin Benjamin WR FSU
1C. Cyrus Kouandjio OT/OG Alabama (basically a Saffold clone, very valuable)
2A. Xavier Su'a-Filo OG UCLA
2B. Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
3A.Terrence Brooks FS FSU
3B. E.J. Gaines CB Missouri
3C. De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon
3D. Aaron Murray QB Georgia
6. George Uko DT/DE USC (William Hayes type of potential)
7A. Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates SS Bowling Green
7B. Johnathon Brown OLB Illinois
7C. Reggie Jordan TE/FB Missouri Western
*This is not so much about a mock draft or who we should take. It is more so about WHAT we should take. Think the pick and not the player*
Basically what this draft would bring to the table is more speed and explosiveness on offense with guys like Sammy Watkins, De'Anthony Thomas, and Reggie Jordan. While Kelvin Benjamin brings power, physicality, and an immediate red zone threat (think Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant rolled into one but bigger). And And Cyrus and Xavier would bring strength, athleticism, stability and MAJOR depth to the offensive line. All the while filling every need on defense.
This would allow the Rams to play a more balanced brand of offense with 50/50 pass/run, and 50/50 power/speed plays. Also an offense like this would be able to compete with any style of defense. It has the size and strength to hang with defenses like Seattle, the speed beat a defense like Arizona, and the balance to beat a 49ers defense. This ladies and gentlemen is what I like to call a defensive coordinators worst nightmare. And in theory (and I have not done the math here, Dubbs please by all means be my guest) it would cost the Rams about $12 million to sign. $12 million and the Rams are suddenly the deepest team in the NFC West with the potential to beat anyone.
Remember the fastest and easiest way into the playoffs is by winning your division. And when you consider the toughest division in the NFL is the NFC West, well when you win that you are instantly considered the favorite to win it all.