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Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: What we learned

The Rams offense will need to rediscover its foundation, from the ground up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

No run game?

“You wanna get nuts?! C’mon, lets get nuts!”

-George Costanza

Last week we learned that the Los Angeles Rams’ offense which put up 518 yards and 34 points is still not able to control a game without some semblance of balance. The Rams simply were not able to keep a lid on the feisty and game Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense last Sunday. Sure the Rams secondary looked vulnerable for the first time this season, but in many ways even that is traceable to the Rams lack of ground game. If the Rams had been able to make the Bucs consider the threats of Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown, the whole rhythm of that game could have been different, and the Rams defense would have been less gassed. Is that a reach?

How about last year’s best run-blocking tackle and currently floundering Rob Havenstein? He just can’t play now? Opponents are consistently hitting Havenstein with their best pass rushers, but how about flipping the script and letting the 6’8” 330 pound tackle attack instead of constantly back peddling? That might just even the playing field back into the Rams favor. The Rams offensive line is currently graded by Pro Football Focus as the worst line in the NFL. Center Brian Allen and left guard Joseph Noteboom are currently unproven commodities, and might never become long-term NFL starters, but the Rams can’t afford to have the pillars of their line, like Havenstein, crumbling.

Remember that stretch last season when the Rams were looking highly pedestrian after a tough victory in Detroit and losses to the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles? The Rams turned things around with 41 rushing attempts against the Arizona Cardinals, 42 rushes versus the San Francisco 49ers, and dusted the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Playoffs with a whopping 48 carries. So what will they do against the Seattle Seahawks?

Let’s see if the team find its identity again at The Link on a short week. One thing is for certain, even they fail but remain committed to running the ball, Jared Goff will benefit greatly. If McVay wishes to buy Goff an extra half second to make the right reads, the Rams need to convince the Seahawks that they are at least somewhat serious about running the ball.

Oh, and by the way, CJ Anderson is currently a free agent.