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L.A. Rams ought to take down the banged up San Francisco 49ers on MNF, however provided that they shore up a key weak point

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The Rams’ O-line has been the problem.

The Rams’ O-line has been the issue.
Picture: Getty Pictures

Opening evening was a grand affair for the Los Angeles Rams. Of their shiny facility in Inglewood, Calf., they had been capable of relive the evening that they turned the second consecutive workforce to win a Tremendous Bowl of their house stadium. They obtained the rings, unveiled the banner, and three hours later they had been 0-1 to start out the season after falling to the Buffalo Payments.

The Rams didn’t rating a single level within the second half. Newly acquired large receiver Allen Robinson caught just one cross, and Matthew Stafford logged three interceptions on the night. The Payments regarded each bit the Tremendous Bowl favourite they had been predicted to be because the spring.

Since then, the Rams haven’t misplaced a sport, however have finished little to impress in one-possession victories in opposition to the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals. On Monday Evening Soccer they are going to go up in opposition to their second enormous early take a look at of the season — these pesky San Francisco 49ers. The Rams have misplaced six consecutive regular-season video games in opposition to the 49ers, and barely edged out that NFC Championship Sport victory at house.

The 49ers protection is ferocious — greatest within the NFL in DVOA — however accidents to their offense led to a stinker of a sport final week in opposition to the Denver Broncos that dropped their file to 1-2 on the season. A win would give the Rams an enormous leg up within the division, however to drag it off they’re going to want constant offensive-line play.

That 31-17 win in opposition to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 ought to’ve by no means been shut. When the Rams had been up 31-10, they took a 13-play drive right down to the Falcons’ one-yard-line and settled for a subject objective. First, Sir Genius Sean McVay, no belief on 4th and 1? Even in case you don’t convert, Marcus Mariota is pinned in opposition to his personal objective line.

Darrell Henderson did his greatest work of the sport in that collection, gaining 23 of his game-total 47 yards on three carries. But, after he put the Rams on the one-yard-line, he didn’t see the ball once more. That’s probably as a result of via a lot of the early a part of this season, this Rams offensive line — as anticipated — has struggled.

After Andrew Whitworth’s retirement, some retooling was vital alongside the Rams’ offensive line. It was one among their largest query marks heading into the 12 months. Via three video games, the workforce whose offensive line had the very best pass-block win charge within the league final 12 months is now in the midst of the pack at 14th. Their run-block win charge isn’t a lot better with the Rams ranked sixteenth.

There have been considerations about this unit’s functionality to maintain Matthew Stafford clear sufficient to keep away from pricey turnovers, and if they may, open sufficient holes to maintain defenses sincere and respect the run. Stafford threw 5 interceptions through the first two weeks, and the Rams did not common three yards per carry in both of their first two video games.

Towards the Arizona Cardinals final week, nonetheless, the speeding sport took them house in that 20-12 victory. Cam Akers lastly regarded just like the featured again the Rams hoped he can be after they drafted him within the second spherical of the 2020 NFL Draft. They rode him within the second half on the drive that put them up 20-3, punctuated by his landing, and continued to pound the rock with him on their subsequent drive though it ended with him fumbling on the objective line whereas making an attempt to punch in a second landing. Akers averaged 5.1 yards per try in Week 3. Additionally, Stafford was saved clear for a lot of the sport and averaged his highest yards per cross try of the season at slightly below 10.

Now the offensive line has to face the large boss of the Rams’ early season. Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Talanoa Hufanga, and firm will do their greatest to deal with the Rams to an early Halloween by haunting all of them evening. The Rams should go ghostbusting with out beginning left guard David Edwards, and can nonetheless be with out heart Brian Allen, however the 49ers have damage points all around the roster. That additionally consists of a few defensive linemen who’re questionable to play, Arik Armstead, and Javon Kinlaw.

The Rams have a protection with star energy that’s going to provide that depleted 49ers offense all they will deal with. If the Rams’ offensive line merely doesn’t permit the 49ers protection to pound them into hamburger patties, they will begin the season effectively on their strategy to a second-consecutive division championship.

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