NFL roundtable: Can Rams make run? Chargers doomed in Okay.C.?

Photo of author

By Calvin S. Nelson

The Rams remembered within the second half that they have been permitted to run the ball and rallied to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 26-9. The Chargers failed down the stretch in a 20-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night time. Los Angeles Occasions Rams beat author Gary Klein, NFL columnist Sam Farmer, Chargers beat author Jeff Miller and columnist Dylan Hernandez focus on what occurred and upcoming prospects:

Kyren Williams has made an even bigger impression than many anticipated, aside from possibly himself. The Rams’ again definitely isn’t a “burner” and never a “juker.” How would you describe his operating fashion and why it’s working?

Farmer: Williams is affected person and doesn’t let the primary man carry him down. He lets his blocks develop in entrance of him, staying on schedule, and retains transferring ahead. Doesn’t lose yards. So I’d say he’s an unrelenting runner. He’s second within the NFC in dashing yards to Christian McCaffrey. What’s extra, Puka Nacua is third within the NFL in receiving. Who noticed that coming?

Klein: Williams runs with emotion and stunning energy. He retains transferring after preliminary contact. It labored within the second half towards the Cardinals as a result of Sean McVay allowed Williams and the offensive line to construct confidence and experience the wave of emotion.

Editor’s be aware: The Rams introduced since that Williams has an injured ankle. He may miss their subsequent recreation towards the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Is there reason the Rams weren’t even making an attempt to run the ball within the first half?

Klein: Doesn’t look like it. The Cardinals’ protection isn’t some impenetrable power. As dynamic as Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua may be, McVay’s offense all the time works higher when there’s a run aspect.

Farmer: However they didn’t have a number of alternatives — 18 offensive snaps, not counting punts, versus 34 within the second half. Matthew Stafford checked out of a number of runs within the first half.

Can Byron Younger grow to be the wingman Aaron Donald wants to be able to get extra maneuvering room alongside the road? Might he be one other Leonard Floyd?

Klein: Younger is turning into a power on the sting. He isn’t as tall as Floyd however he’s relentless. Anybody who can power opposing offensive coordinators to account for them goes to deflect consideration from and assist Donald.

The presence of Rams linebacker Byron Younger on the sting may assist free Aaron Donald.

(Gregory Bull / Related Press)

Farmer: With three sacks in six video games, Younger is on a Leonard Floyd tempo of roughly 9 per season. Though his pass-rush strikes are uncooked, Younger is extraordinarily athletic and quick sufficient to chase down quarterbacks and operating backs. A productive third-round choose.

What’s your scouting report on the Pittsburgh Steelers, aside from Steelers Nation is bound to invade SoFi Stadium? They’ve been up and down to date this season however are very a lot an AFC contender at 3-2.

Klein: I’ll defer to Sam on the Steelers. He is aware of the league higher than I do, particularly on a Monday. What I do know is that Aaron Donald will likely be amped to play his hometown group.

Farmer: Protection is fairly stable. Offense is absolutely struggling, and that might present some massive alternatives for a Rams protection that may be stifling. In every of the Rams’ three wins this season, their protection has pitched a shutout in a half — second half towards Seattle, first half towards Indianapolis, second half towards Arizona.

The rating tied 17-17 and the Cowboys going through third and 18 on their 17 with 5:52 to go, who began pondering … “Hey, the Chargers are set as much as win this recreation?”

Editor’s be aware: Defensive holding gave Dallas a primary down.

Hernandez: I simply by no means had feeling about this recreation. Take the primary play of the fourth quarter. The Cowboys confronted a 3rd and 11 on their 24, Dak Prescott scrambled round and hit Tony Pollard, who broke a deal with by Michael Davis whereas two different Chargers gamers simply stood and watched. Pollard went for 60 yards and the Cowboys scored a landing afterward that drive. After seeing that, I didn’t suppose something may very well be taken as a right.

Miller: This group’s incapacity to get off the sphere in super-critical conditions has been a problem, little question. However it’s odd in that the Chargers rank third within the league in third-down protection for the season and restricted Dallas to 5 of 13 general Monday. However the third-and-18 failure towards the Cowboys was essential.

What do you make of what number of throws have been astray for Justin Herbert, who normally is pin-point? Was it merely the push regardless of solely being sacked as soon as or the protection? Or … ?

Miller: I’ve to consider the push performed a component in Herbert’s shaky moments. Like each quarterback, he operates higher with time. Herbert has been nice towards the blitz this season, however stress has been a problem at occasions. It was once more on this recreation.

Hernandez: It doesn’t matter whether or not it was the push or the protection or, as Brandon Staley stated, the absence of the Chargers’ dashing recreation. Herbert needs to be higher. He was well-protected on the 2 passes he missed to a wide-open Keenan Allen. That most likely price the Chargers 10 factors. Now that he’s paid like a franchise quarterback, Herbert has to play like a franchise quarterback. Which means discovering a strategy to make performs and win video games below antagonistic circumstances.

Even with Austin Ekeler again, the Chargers weren’t capable of get the run recreation going but once more. Is dashing going to should be an extracurricular exercise for this offense with Herbert pulling the set off?

Miller: It needs to be greater than that if this group is ever going to go wherever. The lack of veteran middle Corey Linsley, who’s coping with a heart-related ailment, might be an even bigger deal than we make it out to be. Linsley is important to this offense along with his expertise and talent to speak, notably for a group that — due to the everyday crowd at SoFi Stadium — doesn’t play many dwelling video games.

The Chargers' Austin Ekeler is stacked up at the line of scrimmage by the Dallas Cowboys.

The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler didn’t discover a lot operating room towards the Cowboys protection, operating for simply 27 yards in 14 carries.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Occasions)

Hernandez: That is beginning to look lots like final 12 months. The Chargers couldn’t run the ball and we noticed how that went. What if, God forbid, the Chargers have a lead? They virtually blew a 17-point lead two weeks in the past, and that was towards a foul Raiders group. In the event that they don’t repair this downside, one thing worse is certain to occur.

Regardless of an excellent defensive effort, the Chargers couldn’t cease the Cowboys down the stretch. Contemplating they face Patrick Mahomes and the champion Kansas Metropolis Chiefs on the street subsequent, are the Chargers doomed in that AFC West matchup?

Miller: “Doomed” appears slightly robust, particularly 5, six days earlier than kickoff. However this will likely be one other tough matchup for the Chargers, who’ve truly gained three of their previous 5 video games at Arrowhead Stadium, though Okay.C. rested its regulars in a type of video games. My daring prediction: one other one-score end, after all!

Hernandez: The Chargers nonetheless have high-end expertise, so you’ll be able to’t dismiss them completely. However they’ve to show round issues rapidly. They will’t rely on one other late-season successful streak to salvage their season.

Leave a Comment