It’s been nothing short of a rollercoaster season for Cam Akers, but his future in Los Angeles looks brighter every week. After looking like the starter in the offseason, Akers was benched in Week 1 and nearly traded before the deadline in October, but he remained with the Rams and is suddenly making a strong case to be the starter in 2023.
He’s had two of his best games in the last two weeks, rushing for 118 yards against the Broncos on Christmas and going off for 123 yards against the Chargers on Sunday, giving him 241 yards in the last two weeks alone. That’s more than he had in the previous four games combined, a span in which he gained just 204 yards on 49 carries.
After averaging only 2.8 yards per carry in his first seven games, he’s raised his season average to a much more respectable 4.1 yards per rush, largely thanks to the way he’s played in Weeks 16 and 17.
Being under contract in 2023, the Rams were likely to give him a shot to be their starter regardless, but he’s making that decision much easier now with this stellar finish to the season. There isn’t much of a question of who should start between him and Kyren Williams next season. And he loves the idea of staying with the Rams not only next season, but for the rest of his career.
That’s probably looking a little bit too far ahead, but Akers has earned the opportunity to start in 2023. He showed on Sunday that he’s a complete back, which McVay pointed out during his postgame press conference.
If he can play the way he did in 2020 when he rushed for 625 yards on just 145 carries, while also adding 123 yards receiving, the Rams won’t feel pressed to draft a running back or sign one of the many stars set to hit free agency. Akers will be the guy.
And part of being a “complete back” is pass protection, which he’s certainly improved in. Look at this blitz pickup from Sunday.
Akers has been one of the few bright spots down the stretch and there’s no question he’s impacting his job security in 2023. This finish to the year won’t go unnoticed by McVay and Les Snead as the Rams begin their offseason evaluation in a week.