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Rams offensive overview post-week 5: McVay’s confusing usage of Cam Akers

Cam Akers has yet to run away with RB1 role

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams offensive struggles continued in Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys. Matthew Stafford committed three turnovers due to poor offensive line play. Cam Akers and the run game have yet to solve their own woes. Rumors of Christian McCaffrey to Los Angeles have begun. Is the Cam Akers experiment beginning to run its course?

In order to gain a sense of the performance of the roster and its direction, Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded out all the players from the Week 5 contest. Using the PFF grades and the eye test of watching the game, I will provide weekly evaluations and grades.

Los Angeles Rams | NFL news, schedule, and box scores | PFF

Weekly Grade: Grade for that respective week

Season Grade: Grade for the position over the course of the season

Trend: Direction of the position group from last week to this week

*Denotes a player ranked in the Top 3 at the position*


Matthew Stafford: 58.2 (-6.7), John Wolford: DNP, Bryce Perkins: INA

Matthew Stafford can only manage so much. Sean McVay is right, Stafford needs help. He is pressured at an alarming rate and takes quarterback hits early and often. Stafford was 28/42 for 308 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Stafford also lost two fumbles on strip sacks.

The Rams want to be a drop back passing team, but right now with the status of the offensive line, they are not able to be efficient throwing the football.

Week 5 Grade: D-, Season Grade: D-, Trend: Slight Downward


Cam Akers: 59.0 (-2.9), Darrell Henderson: 56.4 (+0.9), Kyren Williams: IR, Malcolm Brown: 59.5 (+0.2)

Cam Akers was more of the same - underwhelming. Two notable plays for the third year running back were 1) he failed to see a huge cutback lane that could have been an explosive run, and 2) on the Kupp trick play, Akers failed to come back to the ball to catch or at least initiate a defensive pass interference call.

Henderson was not used in the run game but caught four passes (five targets) for 30 yards.

When Kyren Williams returns, I will be interested to know if and how McVay uses the fifth-round rookie.

Week 5 Grade: F, Season Grade: D, Trend: Moderate Downward


Cooper Kupp: 87.0* (-2.7), Allen Robinson II: 54.6 (-2.0), Van Jefferson: IR, Tutu Atwell: 66.0 (+14.4), Bennett Skowronek: 55.0 (-0.6), Brandon Powell: 72.7 (-6.0), Lance McCutcheon: 59.3 (DNP)

Kupp’s 75-yard catch (one-handed) and run was one of two offensive highlights. He still remains as the number one graded wide receiver according to PFF.

Tutu Atwell provided the other explosive play in the passing game, connecting with Stafford on a 54-yard post. Atwell’s speed does provide the capability of taking the top off the defense, but LA needs to figure out how to get him more involved since he is subbed out for a heavier 11 personnel.

Ben Skowronek caught six passes (eight targets) for 41 yards.

Allen Robinson checked in as the least efficient receiver, totaling three receptions (five targets) for 12 yards.

Week 5 Grade: C-, Season Grade: C, Trend: Neutral


Tyler Higbee: 64.2 (-1.1), Brycen Hopkins: 57.1 (SUS), Kendall Blanton: 83.0 (-3.4)

Higbee has been the second most reliable option in the passing game. He was shaky against Dallas in pass protection and dropped one (maybe two) pass targeted his way.

Week 5 Grade: C-, Season Grade: C+, Trend: Slight Downward


Joe Noteboom: 65.8 (+2.0), David Edwards: 58.2 (+0.3), Brian Allen: 67.6 (INA), Coleman Shelton: 49.9 (IR), Rob Havenstein: 63.8 (-7.0), Alaric Jackson: 61.1 (-5.4), Tremayne Anchrum: 60.0 (IR), Bobby Evans: 33.3 (+3.5), Jeremiah Kolone: 42.7 (+4.1)

The Rams offense line is failing the team right now. The injuries don’t help, but at some point, you have to get some sort of production. Havenstein was whipped by Micah Parson in the second half. He typically struggles against speed rushers.

The interior line is the greatest problem (again due to three missing starters). Kolone is overmatched as a center. Alaric Jackson and Bobby Evans are just tackles that have cross trained and are only average at best for the guard spots.

I believe a lineup of Noteboom/Aboushi/Skura/Jackson/Havenstein should and will be the starting line against Carolina this weekend. At this point it’s worth seeing if Aboushi or Skura offer more upside that way LA can pair them with the Week 8 return of Brian Allen and David Edwards.

Week 5 Grade: F, Season Grade: F, Trend: Significant Downward

HC (Sean McVay)

Sean McVay can’t control the injuries that are piling up, but as a head coach you need to know what your personnel is capable of when starters are missing. Expecting the offensive line to hold up in pass protection for 45-50 pass attempts is not reasonable.

Furthermore, if McVay does want to pass, he needs to utilize every method to beat pressure. The Rams have rarely run RB screen plays this year. It’s a small way to get Cam Akers or Darrell Henderson some momentum. Not to mention, using WR, TE, and RB screens will slow down the opposing pass rush.

Week 5 Grade: F, Season Grade: D+, Trend: Slight Downward

Stay tuned within the next 24 hours for the defensive PFF grades from Week 5 for the Los Angeles Rams roster overview!


When Kyren Williams returns, will he become the feature RB in McVay’s offense?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Yes, immediately
    (31 votes)
  • 23%
    Yes, by Week 12
    (21 votes)
  • 14%
    No, but he will in 2023
    (13 votes)
  • 26%
    No, he will split duties with Akers and Henderson
    (23 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now