The Los Angeles Rams hosted Jared Goff, Michael Brockers, and the Detroit Lions in a matchup of teams heading in opposite directions fast and as expected, beat their former signal caller by a score of 28-19. The offensive line did pretty well protecting the passer, but dreadful in the running game.
Is center Brian Allen holding up at center through his first seven starts back with the ones?
Can Andrew Whitworth keep playing this way into 2022?
What will the Rams do about the interior of the offensive line or the reserves with Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, and Austin Corbett set to become free agents?
There are so many questions revolving around the offensive line each week, and once again I’ll take you on a tour of how those five players played in the most recent game. Here are grades for the offensive line in Week 7’s struggle of a win over the Lions.
Pass Protection: B+
The offensive line gave Matthew Stafford plenty of time in the first half, allowing him to pick apart the Detroit defense for three consecutive scoring drives.
The first drive of the third quarter was a bit of a different story. Stafford was hit several times, including a drive ending sack by outside linebacker Julian Okwara. The defense presented an aggressive front, with six defenders all at the line of scrimmage showing they had intentions of bringing the heat. Both Okwara and fellow outside linebacker Charles Harris looped from the outside in to the heart of the offensive line.
Okwara was able to penetrate clean and get hands on Stafford. Center Brian Allen was not able to cleanly pass off his defender to right guard Austin Corbett quick enough to pick up Okwara.
Looking closely, it appears that Stafford may have actually tripped over right tackle Rob Havenstein, as he was engaged with linebacker Austin Bryant. Stafford was noticed wincing and clutching at the right side of his ribs during and after that drive but thankfully did not miss a snap.
The o-line was able to get back on track for the rest of the game, not allowing another sack moving forward.
Run Blocking: D
There was no running room Sunday at all. Rams rushers had to fight for every single yard. Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel combined for 49 yards on 17 carries, good for only 2.88 yards per rushing attempt. Again, L.A. was unable to pick up third and short conversions in the running game.
Darrell Henderson: Inefficient on big workload https://t.co/mW9hzTh9m5— RotoWire (@RotoWireNFL) October 25, 2021
Usually, Los Angeles is able to increase their rushing production in the second half, as they wear down opposing defenses and drain the clock. This wasn’t the case until very late, as the Lions kept it close all game.
The O-line was able to get some movement along the Lions defensive front on the final drive of the game, allowing Henderson to churn out some clock chewing yardage. Prior to this drive, I had an F as their run blocking grade.
Once again, the Rams O-line was able to play a spotless game in regards to penalties. Not having to deal with holding or false start penalties keeps drives alive by allowing the offense to stay ahead of the chains.
Overall, it was a decent showing by the Rams offensive line, but it was underwhelming in the running game, considering the team they played. Next week against the Houston Texans is the last tune up before L.A. returns to playoff caliber teams.