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Rams can’t blame offensive struggles on a few injuries

This was the offense that the Rams wanted and it’s among the worst in the league

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams are playing their third option at center and their third option, maybe even their fourth if you include Logan Bruss, at right guard. They also placed Van Jefferson on IR and haven’t had him all season.

That’s not enough excuses for being one of the worst offenses in the NFL through five games.

Coming off of a Super Bowl victory season in which they scored 27.1 PPG in the regular season and 107 points in four playoff games, the Rams were expected to compete in shootouts again in 2022. That doesn’t look to be the case at all.

In a loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5, the L.A. Rams scored 10 points, which would have tied as their second-lowest scoring game in all of 2021. But the Rams have now scored 10 points or less in three of their five games in 2022 already.

The Rams went into Week 5 ranked 29th in points, 28th in yards, 29th in turnovers, and 30th in rushing yards. With three more turnovers, 38 more rushing yards, and only 10 points, L.A. can’t expect to move up the charts and improve their place in the standings. Even their Week 6 opponent, the Carolina Panthers, are scoring a couple more points per game than the Rams.

The Bears scored 22 points in their loss on Sunday, so they are now only four points behind the Rams in total points through five games. The Chicago Bears. If L.A. was an average scoring team, then it would be easier to paint the difference between the current state of affairs and being “kinda good” again.

But at 30th in the league in offense, this can’t be blamed on injuries to Coleman Shelton, Brian Allen, and Van Jefferson.

Matthew Stafford received a new contract in the offseason and has been healthy enough to start every game. Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson have been the top two backs for every game. Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, and Tyler Higbee have been healthy for every game. Joseph Noteboom and Rob Havenstein have been healthy for every game.

Were either Robert Woods or Odell Beckham Jr., or Andrew Whitworth, really that valuable to the Rams offense?

It has to be said that the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys could have the top two defenses in the NFL. The Rams were not well prepared to handle Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, and all other Cowboys pass rushers. They were not prepared for Nick Bosa.

But the schedule gets harder, not easier.

The Panthers are not a good team, but they might have a decent defense, including when pass rusher Brian Burns is on the field. Then after a bye, the Rams face Bosa’s 49ers again. Then Vita Vea and the Buccaneers. Then a rematch with J.J. Watt and the Cardinals. Then Cam Jordan’s Saints, Chris Jones’s Chiefs, the Seahawks, Maxx Crosby and the Raiders, Kenny Clark and the Packers, the Broncos, Brandon Staley’s Chargers, and a finale against the Seahawks.

No team is going to trade a starting interior offensive linemen in the middle of a season. It’s not going to happen. So the Rams need to see internal improvements, adjustments, and managing to find ways to score points with the players that they have. Ways to block defensive linemen and linebackers unlike they have so far.

But the issues can’t be blamed a few injuries to interior offensive linemen and depth at receiver. If that’s the case, somebody is being underpaid. And somebody else is being overpaid.