Football

Horns Up? Hold Up LA Rams

LA Rams
Rams running back Cam Akers (23) carries during the second half of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP/Alex Gallardo)

Pump the breaks on the LA Rams hype train. This team will not be as good this time around. The LA Rams somehow got worse during the offseason. How did they pull this off? I’ll explain.

The Offense is Worse

What in the name of the football gods do the Rams think they are doing? The big plan to get closer to a championship is Matthew Stafford and DeSean Jackson? You have got to be kidding me. I won’t get into my thoughts about Stafford, you can find that here. But I will say that he is not the answer and trading Goff for him was a huge mistake. Calling it now, Stafford doesn’t make it through the season and John Wolford becomes the franchise quarterback. Jackson is washed up and injury prone. I doubt he makes it through the season either. Robert Williams and Cooper Kupp may need to carry the load more. LA already has Van Jefferson and they drafted Tutu Atwell in the second round from Louisville. They have young speedsters, so why add an old one? Watch out for Ben Skowronek too. He played at Northwestern before grad transferring to Notre Dame for his last year.

What Else Do They Have?

Tyler Higbee at tight end is an okay option, but he isn’t anything special. The Rams let Gerald Everett got to Seattle and subsequently drafted Jacob Harris in the fourth round from Central Florida. Seeing how the tight ends don’t get a lot of love in the Sean McVay offense, don’t expect much. Some good news is that Cam Akers has locked up the starting running back gig. It’s make or break time for Darrell Henderson, and Jake Funk is his biggest competition. Funk was drafted in the seventh round from Maryland and can also play in the slot.

Protection

Left guard David Andrews, center Brain Allen, and right guard Austin Corbett make up a young interior offensive line. Corbett was originally taken in the second round by Cleveland in 2018, but was traded early into his rookie contract. Then you have Rob Havenstein, and that’s right folks, Andrew Whitworth is back at age 39. One of the biggest excuses pundits give Stafford is that he doesn’t have good protection.

Well, this isn’t bad, but at the same time we can’t always just blame the o-line. Stafford has to get rid of the ball at some point. He always holds on to the ball too long and tries to make a play. That’s why his body is in jeopardy right now. Because of Stafford’s poor play and the system holding everyone back, this will be one of the worst offenses in football and may result in McVay getting fired.

Defensive Turnover

The defense did will last year. However, there are some important questions to ask about this defense. First of all, who is Jordan Fuller? And second, who is Darious Williams? Apparently, this is half of the new look starting secondary. Troy Hill and John Johnson both left for Cleveland. It’s understandable to let Hill walk because of his age, but Johnson is only 25. To be fair, Fuller is 23 and picked off fellow 199th overall pick Tom Brady before heading to season ending IR. Fuller was able to get the starting free safety job as rookie which probably led to Johnson packing his bags. Versatile strong safety Taylor Rapp and corner Jalen Ramsey make up the rest of the back end. Robert Rochell was taken in the fourth round from Central Arkansas. He may be a candidate as a nickel.

Now the linebackers. It’s unclear right now where rookie Ernest Johnson fits in. The Rams took Johnson in the third round from South Carolina. He is considered a backup inside linebacker right now behind Kenny Young and Micah Kizer. The Rams also took outside linebacker Chris Garrett from DII Concordia St. Paul in the seventh round. Garrett is not expected to do much with Justin Hollins and Leonard Floyd in front of him.

Up Front

Finally, the defensive line. The Rams took Bobby Brown in round four from Texas A&M. After that, they took Ernest Brown in round five from Northwestern. Ernest Brown is listed as reserve left defensive end. Sebastian Joseph-Day is the starter for now. However, Brown has a good chance to win the backup job. Bobby Brown is listed as the immediate backup to DT A’Shawn Robinson. Last but not least, Aaron Donald is pretty good too.

The Rams are in what could be the toughest division in the NFC. The team has high expectations and will most likely fall flat again.

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  1. Pingback: NFL Week 1 "Triple S" - Championship Sports Media

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