Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus posted a tweet that listed the grades of the bottom five offensive lines in the NFL and the Los Angeles Rams were 32nd, below the hapless Cincinnati Bengals and even, gasp, the Miami Dolphins. What is happening? Are we in the Matrix and no one told me?
Biggest problem the Rams need to fix:— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 1, 2019
Bottom 5 OL in NFL in PFF grade:
28: NYJ 52.3
29: JAX 50.8
30: CIN 49.7
31: MIA 42.5
32: LAR 40.9
You just saw the wreckage that was Cincy's OL on MNF. The Rams are grading WORSE right now.
Monson mentioned in a reply to this tweet that the lowest graded OL on the LA Rams are RG Jamil Demby and RG Austin Blythe. The latter is troubling because Blythe played so well last season and it seemed like it he was a trustworthy lineman that the Rams could depend on to protect QB Jared Goff and to open up the run game.
Another concerning aspect to the offensive line is the deteriorating play of RT Rob Havenstein.
RZ angle. Allen/Blythe do such a great job here. I've got no clue what's happened to Havenstein this season. pic.twitter.com/kFdAnLIZ3f— Sosa K (@QBsMVP) October 1, 2019
While EDGE Shaquil Barrett has been playing lights out this season, this play by Havenstein is ridiculous. During the broadcast, Rams fans rightly pointed the finger at Goff for throwing a bad pass, but upon closer inspection, the blocking let him down as well.
It’s a team game and everyone needs to play their part. Goff needs to execute his reads and be accurate, but Havenstein can’t leave the door open for intruders to rob the place blind.
I’m highlighting Havenstein because I don’t think this is just a problem with inexperienced lineman like C Brian Allen and LG Joseph Noteboom who just need more in-game snaps. Havenstein is a 27 year-old veteran — he should be leading by example with LT Andrew Whitworth. And maybe after the week 4 embarrassment against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he’ll turn it around and get back to his dominant play.
On a macro-level, the offensive line just seems to have a lack of focus. Coach Aaron Kromer was promoted in the offseason to run-game coordinator, which means he’s no longer just the offensive line coach. But since he’s keeping track of the run game, what exactly is he doing? I don’t want to be a dick about it, but is he catching up on Succession on his tablet on the sidelines? Seriously, they ran the ball 11 times. OK, maybe I do want to be a dick about it.
With the short week, the Rams don’t have too much time to sit around and reconstruct their philosophy with the O-line — they just need to block. Sounds easy, right?
Well, if the Rams want to turn around their offensive line, it starts in Seattle on Thursday Night Football, in front of everyone and against our hated rivals, the Seahawks.
This week 5 performance could telegraph to Rams fans just how long this season is going to be.