The Los Angeles Rams made it look easy in their 34-24 win over the defending champions on Sunday, but Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and DeSean Jackson did most of the heavy lifting with running back Darrell Henderson inactive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So how did Sony Michel, the running back acquired from New England Patriots before the season, do in his debut start for the Rams?
Sean McVay started Michel over Jake Funk and gave him virtually all of the work on offense. When snap counts are released, expect Michel to have more than 90-percent of the action. Just don’t expect him to have a high yards per carry average.
Michel finished the game with 20 carries for 67 yards and no touchdowns. He also had three catches for 12 yards. Funk got one carry for six yards.
Darrell Henderson could potentially be ready to go by Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals, but if it is anything like the rib cartilage injury suffered by Cam Akers, who missed two games with that same injury, then Michel will be called upon to start again. And while the Cardinals might have a good defense, Tampa Bay has the best run defense in the NFL.
Michel had an admirable game given the matchup and he had a long of 15 yards. Maybe more impressive was his pass blocking, of which he came up with multiple huge blocks.
With Michel having a few decent runs in a difficult situation, plus some key blocks in the passing game, he’s firmly entrenched in no worse than the backup role for McVay. But if he continues like this, he could be the lead back before long.