Stats show Rams’ rushing attack has been among NFL’s worst this season

·2 min read

It was encouraging to see the Los Angeles Rams bounce back in Week 2 by beating the Atlanta Falcons. Their margin of victory should’ve been much larger than the four points they won by, but they managed to hold on and improve their record to 1-1.

The ground game improved along with it, with Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. gaining 91 yards rushing with one touchdown. But after a terrible season-opener against the Bills, the Rams’ rushing attack is still one of the worst in the league through two weeks.

Based on this chart showing teams’ average yards before and after contact, the Rams rank lower than any other team in yards before contact. They’re also in the bottom 10 in yards after contact, meaning their running backs aren’t breaking many tackles.

It is worth noting that their intentional safety went down as a loss of 26 yards by Brandon Powell, so that could be why the Rams are the only team averaging zero yards before contact. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Looking at Next Gen Stats, Akers has minus-14 rushing yards over expectation, which is 14th-worst in the NFL. Henderson is slightly better with 3 yards over expectation, which puts him right in the middle of the pack.

It’s not like they’re facing loaded boxes, either. Akers has faced a box of eight-plus defenders only 11.1% of the time, 13th-fewest among all running backs. Henderson hasn’t faced a single one, according to Next Gen Stats.

Based on Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, the Rams are 16th in the NFL rushing-wise, which puts them squarely in the middle of the pack. Things could be worse and a decent performance in Week 2 helped the Rams’ rushing attack, but Akers and Henderson sure can be better.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire