The Los Angeles Rams fell flat on their faces in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. Von Miller returned to SoFi Stadium, although he was on the other sideline. Concerns about Matthew Stafford’s elbow injury were clear as day, and the Rams’ defense got ripped apart by a talented Bills offensive unit.
It was a long night in Los Angeles for the reigning Super Bowl Champions, and their championship banner reveal party ended in a “humbling experience,” as head coach Sean McVay said himself.
Out of all the takeaways from this game, one of the most puzzling outcomes was the usage of starting running back Cam Akers.
Akers and Darrell Henderson were both ready to go for the opener, but Akers had just 3 carries for zero yards in a bizarre turn of events. Instead, Henderson was the lead back and really the only ball carrier that did anything against Buffalo.
McVay Gave Some Insight on the Puzzling Akers’ Usage
Before the game, during the game, and after the game, everybody was wondering about the Rams’ running back room. Well, we got a clear answer — it was all Henderson.
But, McVay gave us some insight as to why Akers didn’t get very much run (h/t Sarah Barshop of ESPN).
“No matter who you’re talking about, you want to see guys do the little things the right way, compete with and without the ball. There were some instances where there were some positive things and some things that he can do better, but we want to see just an increased level of urgency and accountability snap in and snap out from him.”
That clears things up a little bit. Or does it?
McVay wanted to see more urgency from Akers, which is a valid concern. However, he only had 3 carries all night, and McVay also admitted they didn’t get much going offensively at all.
Nonetheless, Akers did himself no favors, and his head coach running Henderson out for 54 snaps shows how much work Akers needs to do.
There was also this notable play from Akers where he failed to pick up the block.
All in all, it was a concerning night for Akers and the Rams offense as a whole, but McVay’s comments are sure eye-opening after just one game.
What Will Week 2 Have in Store?
At this point, we have no idea what the Rams’ offense looks like in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. Allen Robinson’s lack of targets was also a significant talking point, and if it weren’t for Cooper Kupp’s pure dominance once again, LA might have gone scoreless in the first game of the season.
Still, McVay expressed total confidence in Akers, and he should be able to turn things around from here on out.
“We’ve all seen how talented and what a special player this guy’s capable of being. And I want to see him reach his highest potential. And that’s really all there is to it.”
The matchup in Week 2 will be a much easier time. Hopefully.