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The Running Back Committee Isn't Running Much

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Taking a look at the Rams' running back production at the quarter pole.

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Evan Habeeb

So two weeks ago after the Cowboys game, I took a look at the Rams' running back committee, made up of Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham and an emerging Trey Watts. At the time, I suggested that there wasn't, seemingly, a real plan. A dedication to doing anything with the run game other than having it available. As I went back to it though, I wanted to update the basic pass/run chart and limit it to the trio's output balanced against the pass and see where this is going.

Play v. MIN @ TB v. DAL @ PHI Avg.
ZS/BC/TW Runs 16 25 26 20 24.25
Pass 41 31 42 49 40.75
Passes per Run 2.56 1.24 1.62 2.45 1.68 (1.97 avg)

So the pass to run ratio ended up similar to the Minnesota game as the Rams fought to catch up to a growing Eagles lead for most of the game. But what's odd is that after four games, the Rams are tied at 19th in the league in rushes per game. Who are they tied with?

The narrative-suggested pass-happy Eagles.

So I wonder if this is who the Rams are. A team that's going to rely on the pass to open up the run. As you can see from the last cell, the Rams total pass per run ratio after four games is 1.68, but the actual average of the four games individually is much higher.

And it's difficult to argue against. The Rams are moving the ball well and aren't reliant on the defense or special teams in the manner they have been in years past. They put up 24 and 28 points through the offense the last two weeks. It's tough to disagree with the final result.

You have to wonder where things change. Eventually, defenses are going to adjust to the Rams' new normal. The RB trio has just 87 rushing attempts good for 365 yards at just under 4.20 yards per. That's solid. Not great, but solid enough to put them smack in the middle of the league. That, however, comes with the asterisk that the Rams are one of just two NFL teams yet to have a rush of 20 yards or more. So it's not as if the Rams' running totals are inflated like Tampa Bay, who at 15 just one spot above the Rams include a 54-yard run from FB Jovorskie Lane. That tends to do things to your stat totals that indicate something other than reality.

But we're approaching the point where the sample size isn't all that small. The point where trends become reality. The point where we have to accept that the Rams aren't, and never really were, a run-heavy offense.

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