It’s another week where the Los Angeles defense will face an offense that will rely most on what the Rams can’t seem to stop — the run.
Carson Wentz is out. Nick Foles, a guy who hasn’t thrown a football in a live game all year, is in. The Eagles are going to rely on the run-game to help Foles get adjusted to live-action once more. Just in time, too. Because the LA run-defense is the worst it’s been all year.
In the last seven games, the defense allowed most than 100 rushing yards in five of the last seven games, and currently allow around 145 yards per-game. The Eagles running game is looking better as of late, having recorded more than 100 yards in two of the last three games. By comparison, the Eagles rushed for more than 100 yards just twice in a 6-week period prior to the last three games.
Some figured the running game was “resurgent” after the 127-yard performance against the New York Giants on Nov. 25. Josh Adams earned season-highs of carries and rushing yards in that game and he became the lead back in this inconsistent running game.
Corey Clement, who would have split time with Josh Adams, is on the IR. Adams was already expected to be the No. 1 back after his performance in recent weeks. He is the most balanced runner on the team despite his large stature. He can take advantage of the small windows the Philly o-line creates and has enough speed to get to the edge.
The Eagles never really gave Adams many touches prior to the game against the New York Giants game at the end of last month. He saw a lot of single digit carries, if any at all. Now, he’s the premiere back because it’s him and Darren Sproles who are all that’s left of the running backs.
Sproles is still good, by the way.
What could give the Rams defense some hope is the fact that Philly’s offensive line is subpar. It ranks towards the bottom of the league in run-blocking. The run-blocking allows Eagles’ running backs to gain 4.22 yards per-carry (19th), according to FootballOutsiders.
The Rams should’ve taken note from the Eagles’ game against the Cowboys last week because Dallas broke the streak of 100-yard rushing performances by holding Philadelphia to 34 yards. How? Well, the Cowboys stacked the box and overwhelmed the offensive line with stunts and mismatches.
Watch Randy Gregory (94) crash the gap to allow Jaylon Smith the opening to come up and help drop Adams behind the line of scrimmage.
Adams finished with 36 yards on seven carries, but still managed to break off two big runs. But Dallas’ run-defense never relented, stopping any chance of the Eagles building on the momentum of big runs.
The Rams were dominated against Chicago after the first quarter, which is another trend of the run-defense — deteriorating as time goes on. The defense looked good in the first quarter, keeping the Bears to small runs. But they were worn down soon after that.
The amount of space created against the front seven is astounding. If they want to rebound from the Chicago loss, they need to contain their space and plug up the running lanes. Adams is a great runner and can take advantage of anything the Rams give him. If LA didn’t learn and address the mistakes they made against Chicago, it’s going to be another long Sunday.