The Los Angeles Rams got a massive 38-28 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon and took over the top spot in the NFC West.
One of the reasons why the Rams were successful against their division rivals was the play of rookie running back Cam Akers. The 21 year old set a career-high with 21 carries — seven more than his previous high from Week 1 — for 76 yards and scored a touchdown for the third consecutive game.
Akers also had a career-best 22-yard reception on his lone target against the Cardinals.
End zone @thereal_cam3 pic.twitter.com/GKKx9xupyX— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 6, 2020
Head coach Sean McVay is beginning to show more confidence in the second-round pick. Akers came into the game with 33 carries over the last four weeks and he now has 21 more to put on top of that.
Akers ran the ball nine times for 84 yards in last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers and the bulk of those yards came on a 61-yard run that led to a touchdown. In the win over Arizona, Akers was assertive during his rushes and didn’t shy away from contact.
McVay has stuck with a running back by committee approach this season, but Akers could be slowly separating himself from Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown as the primary option. At least as a runner. Akers got the ball three straight times to close out the game against the Cardinals and delivered with a first down.
He did have a first half moment where the ball went to him on six of seven plays, including four within 10 yards of the end zone, and he did not score. But it proved that McVay is going to do whatever it takes to find out what he has in Akers right now and the Rams did score a season-high 38 points.
It remains to be seen if McVay will continue to roll with three backs, but in the meantime, it looks like it is Akers’ job to lose.
Which area do you think Akers needs to improve the most for him to take the next step in his career?