It’s been a bad couple weeks in Hollywood and here are a few of my takes on the status of the defending champs after a trying week five.
LA desperately needs a spark...but where to begin?
Where to begin indeed.
I would like to point out that the Los Angeles Rams are in no way finished. There’s still far too much time left in the season to say a thing like that.
What I can say is that this is a deeply flawed group compared to last season’s Super Bowl team. Pretty much through five games, anyone following the Rams could make that assessment on their own.
LA came into their matchup against Dallas with an inconsistent run game, lack of reliable pass catchers besides Kupp and of course, the worst offensive line in the entire NFL. Despite all those issues, the Rams tried to go all business as usual versus the Cowboys and their gameplan set them up for failure.
I may be completely off here. But throwing 44 times and rushing 15 times against one of the NFL's top passing defenses is a bit...— Ramblin' Fan (@RamblinFan) October 9, 2022
well, let's just say that the Rams love to tempt fate.
192 passing attempts this year behind a makeshift offensive line seems . . .
It’s a challenge to have anything that resembles a balanced gameplan when there’s so many issues to account for. Allen Robinson is a bust and has been invisible in the offense. How bad has it been for him? One play in particular will tell you all you need to know about how the Rams view their free agent addition:
The Rams have Cooper Kupp throw to Cam Akers before they have Matthew Stafford throw to Allen Robinson— Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler) October 9, 2022
LA had zero help in the run game with 38 total yards and got a solid chunk of their 285 net passing yards for the afternoon off two monster plays: a 54-yarder to Tutu Atwell and a 75-yard touchdown to Cooper Kupp.
Very little has gone to plan for these Rams as they try for a repeat. As I’ve said, all hope isn’t lost but their upcoming bye week is looking better and better by the week.
Offensive line MUST BE addressed by deadline
Why must I talk about this stinky line EVERY DANG WEEK?
I’m tired of talking about them but they disappoint me EVERY DANG WEEK!
Through five games, Stafford has been sacked 21 times. He was heavily pressured on seemingly every passing attempt and was taking a beating by a relentless Cowboys pass rush.
Matthew Stafford has been sacked 21 times this season and 19 times in the last 3 games— #RunItBack (@BlueCr0cs) October 10, 2022
He was only sacked 30 teams all year in 2021
If you’re wondering where the problem with this offense is it’s right in front of him
These hits will only add up if the Rams do nothing to solve their O-line woes. As poorly as Stafford has played this season, it’s not all his fault. The culprits are right in front of him and sitting comfortably in the press box because they were too cocky in thinking this line would do the trick for this entire season.
Injuries to LA’s offensive line have been brutal and there isn’t enough depth to withstand these blows. Los Angeles could wait until their bye week to better assess their line. However, the options to truly make a difference needs to come externally.
Whatever resources the Rams have available, they need to invest in somehow improving this makeshift unit. Throwing money at a problem isn’t the best solution but what other options does this team have?
Matthew Stafford is taking hit after hit, and on that last interception he appeared to injure his throwing hand. He was grabbing the pinky side near his wrist. He'll stay in, but he's hurting. The #Rams OL needs to do a much better job protecting him if he's going to survive.— Inside Injuries (@InsideInjuries) October 9, 2022
The O-line is on its way in dragging this campaign down and if Stafford is forced to miss any significant time because of it, consider their season cooked.
I hope the Rams’ front office takes this game as a PSA to correct these flaws rather than stamp a band-aid on them and call it a day. They can’t afford not to.
Cam Akers needs to be benched
Why does it feel like every week in this post I also talk about Cam Akers? I believe it’s because he’s a Rams fan’s 13th reason.
I’ve been fluctuating between giving Cam a shot and having his snaps limited for oh, I don’t know, since the very beginning of the season.
Now I’m at the point where I have to say McVay needs to remove all the plays involving Akers from the playbook. This obviously wouldn’t help LA’s rushing attack but in what way is he helping the team with his godawful vision?
Seriously, WTF was this dude seeing?
Cam Akers missed this hole pic.twitter.com/ZxlArCHiXj— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) October 9, 2022
Akers is more blind than most of the refs in the league which I didn’t even think was possible. It’s way past time to admit defeat on Cam who had moments during his rookie season but I doubt we’ll ever see that player again.
Sean McVay’s blind loyalty to Cam Akers is odd to me.— Alfredo Brown (@ThePretendGM) October 9, 2022
• Akers is averaging 3 YPC.
• One game with 50+ rushing yards.
• Literally zero pass-game usage.
I don’t understand it. pic.twitter.com/nq0ILmaWyC
The Rams’ run game is already so terrible and one-dimensional that benching Akers wouldn’t solve their problems. Their offense lacks a clear identity that goes way beyond the running backs. Offensive line is their most glaring contribution to these issues but even Darrell Henderson has been making the most of his opportunities when presented with them.
Cam just doesn’t have it and he may never will. He’s clearly hurting more than he is helping and he has to stay on the sidelines from now on if McVay can help it.