5 takeaways from the LA Rams’ offensive line performance against the Raiders
The Los Angeles Rams failed to secure the victory over the Las Vegas Adventurers Saturday night, losing by a final score of 17-16. The LA offensive line, which started the same five as last week (left tackle AJ Jackson, left guard Chandler Brewer, center Coleman Shelton, right guard Bobby Evans and Tremayne Anchrum on right tackle) showed quite a bit. improvement in the racing game at times, but otherwise left a lot to be desired on the part of the reserve unit.
There was more room to run than last week
The Rams rushed for 129 yards against the Raiders, surpassing their 73 total rushing yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in week 1 of the preseason. “When we were able to stick to the race with the ball, there were some positives”, noted head coach Sean McVay during his post-game press conference.
However, by looking a little deeper at those rushing yards, we can begin to reduce some of the perceived credit that may have been attributed to the offensive line by simply looking at the stat line.
Quarterback Bryce Perkins totaled 41 of 129 rushing yards on several scrimmages and a few designed quarterback runs. Without those yards from Perkins, Los Angeles actually rushed for 88 yards on 19 carries.
Diving a little deeper, 14 of those yards came in a draw in third and 22, with the Raiders’ defense keeping the first scorer and virtually ignoring the run. Removing those 14 yards brings us to a total of 74 yards on 16 carries, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, in stark contrast to the 2.47 yards per rushing attempt (not counting the rushing yards of the quarterback) against the Chargers.
Bryce Perkins had to scramble like his life depended on it
While the Rams have shown tangible improvement in the running game, passing protection is another story. LA’s offensive line provided very few pockets of its own for Perkins, who played the entire game. He constantly had to pop out of the pocket or throw from inside a collapsing pocket with defenders closing in on the old University of Virginia Cavalier.
The fact that the top-five only allowed one sack is a lot more to the quarterback’s mobility than the strength of the offensive line. Thankfully, if the LA Rams are forced to tap into the reserve offensive lineman beyond Joseph Noteboom, they’ll only have to choose from the unit playing in the preseason. Inserting one of the seven rotating linemen during the preseason into the starting lineup due to injury would hopefully yield better results as they would play alongside better and higher linemen. experienced people who could help them in the field.
Bobby Evans struggles
Evans had a bad game to say the least. He may have had the worst performance, not only on the offensive line, but also on the team. He gave constant pressure to the middle and didn’t do much better in the running game.
Add in the fact that he committed two driving murder penalties (Tremayne Anchrum was incorrectly placed with Evan’s illegal hands to the face on the second LA drive) and this now creates a situation where a player who actually had a playoff experience last season can actually lose confidence, instead of relying on that postseason playing time.
Bobby Evans could legitimately be on the chopping block, his effort against the 3rd spar is abysmal.
– JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) August 22, 2021
There were too many penalties on the offensive line
The Los Angeles Rams committed 10 penalties for 84 yards against the Las Vegas. The offensive line was responsible for five of those 37-yard penalties, cutting off early downs and putting the offense in a position where it was consistently behind the chains.
Last week, this same unit committed zero penalties. This particular regression will be addressed in practice, but it’s the backing offensive line and it’s preseason. These things should be expected to happen, but the fact that this same unit played a clean game last week, as far as penalties go, has raised expectations that they could do better at this regard.
Tremayne Anchrum played well at the start but came out with an injury early in the second half
In the first practice of the second half, right tackle Anchrum suffered an apparent leg injury in a game where two Las Vegas Raiders were also injured. He was slow to get up, but eventually slowly walked to the sideline on his own.
I see TreMayne Anchrum standing on the sidelines with his headphones in hand, so that’s a good sign.
– Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 22, 2021
Chandler Brewer switched to right tackle in his absence, while Jordan Meredith replaced Brewer at left guard.
Fortunately, McVay said Ancrum should be fine.
“I believe he will be fine,” McVay said. “He just rolled up his ankle a bit, but I think he’ll be fine.”
Anchrum was playing very well before his injury, so the early optimism about his exit is encouraging both for his future and for the depth of the offensive line going forward.