The Los Angeles Rams are currently playing the biggest balancing act in the NFL. The team is coming off the high of winning a Super Bowl, while also looking ahead to prepare for the upcoming season.
Fortunately, the Rams have done a great job in doing this. They spent February soaking up the glory of their championship and by March, it was time to start focusing on winning another one. The front office re-signed former players, made deals with free agents and designed a plan to “steal the draft” in April.
Meanwhile, the official workouts for the Rams didn’t start until May. Rookie minicamp went from May 13-15, OTAs were at the end of May and beginning of June, and mandatory minicamp was June 7-9.
Overall, the 2021-2022 Super Bowl-winning team is relatively intact, with a few additions and subtractions in the mix. And, they’re looking pretty good. The Rams have a great chance to repeat last year’s championship run. It’s up to the team’s running backs to seal the deal.
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Rams Key Position Group For 2022 NFL Season
Clearly, the Rams did a lot of things right last season, and they certainly earned their title of Super Bowl champions. However, like anything else in life, there’s always room for growth and improvement.
Last season, the Rams spent a large part of their season without Cam Akers. The running back suffered a torn Achilles in the offseason and had subsequent surgery. Basically, the team expected the surgery to sideline Akers for the entirety of the 2021-2022 season.
However, he defined the odds and returned for the final regular season game against the San Francisco 49ers. The young running back averaged 43 rushing yards in the Rams’ postseason stretch.
While Akers missed basically the entire regular season, Darrell Henderson’s situation was the opposite. He was placed on the IR for an MCL injury following the Rams’ late-December win over the Minnesota Vikings. Henderson missed the rest of the regular season and returned for the Rams’ Super Bowl victory.
The injury-plagued season for the Rams’ running backs undoubtedly impacted the team’s productivity on the run. According to Statmusethey had the 8th least productive run game in 2021. The Rams recorded 1,683 rushing yards last season, resulting in a 99-yard average through 17 games.
And, the Rams attempted to run only 420 times, which is the same amount as the Detroit Lions, which had the least amount of rushing yards this past season.
Meanwhile, other teams heavily relied on their run game to push them through to the playoffs and proved that running backs and the run game are crucial to winning football games. For instance, the Philadelphia Eagles went to the playoffs in the first year of their rebuild as the top rushing team in the league. They recorded 2,715 rushing yards, averaging 159.7 yards per game.
This year, teams are going to start to figure out how to defend Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp’s insane passing chemistry. This means that the Rams have to utilize the run game a lot more, and their running backs are going to play a critical role in their success this season.
Expect a lot from both Akers and Henderson in the upcoming season. Both struggled with serious injuries during the team’s championship season, but should be ready to go for the start of the 2022-2023 season.