Los Angeles Rams Are Scary Good With Kyren Williams As Their Secret Weapon

Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but the Los Angeles Rams are gaining on everyone, and Kyren Williams is out in front, leading the charge.

After languishing through the first half of the season, the Los Angeles Rams (7-7) have snuck into the No. 7 spot in the NFC, just enough to qualify as the final wild-card team if the season ended today.

The Rams, winners of four of their past five games, are both sneaky good and scary good. Sneaky because they’ve quickly reversed their fortunes. Scary because they’ve done it with Kyren Williams, who’s transformed the Rams’ offense into one of the NFL’s most potent units.

Kyren Williams is a relative newcomer, given that he was a fifth-round pick out of Notre Dame last year. But he can already be counted among the game’s best running backs based on his recent production.

He’s been more than a pleasant surprise for Sean McVay and the Rams, considering he spent the bulk of his rookie season on injured reserve and finished with only 215 yards of total offense.

But this season, Kyren Williams has been the very definition of the term “breakout player,” one no one might have seen coming.

His sophomore season got off to a decent start, yet in Week 6, Williams suffered a sprained ankle that forced him to miss one month of the season. Since returning from injured reserve, however, Williams has been nothing short of spectacular.

Williams has rushed for more than 100 yards three times in four weeks, averaging 130.6 yards per game, and more importantly, he’s become the featured back that the Rams have lacked since Todd Gurley.

While only playing 10 of 13 games overall, the second-year pro is the league’s fourth-leading rusher (953 yards) and leads all running backs in yards per game (95.3), three more yards than NFL rushing leader Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers.

If there’s been any blip on Williams’ record, it would be the two fumbles he lost Sunday in the Rams’ 27-20 win over Washington. But they were his first two fumbles of the season, and afterward, McVay expressed that he still has plenty of confidence in Williams.

Kyren Williams
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kyren Williams Is Elevating The Rams’ Offense

With Williams in the lineup, the Rams have scored at a 33-point-per-game clip over the past four weeks. The greatest benefactor of Williams’ presence on the field has been quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has a TD-to-interception ratio of 12-1 over the same timeframe.

At the beginning of the season, the Rams’ offense on paper looked like one that would rely heavily on All-Pro receiver Cooper Kupp as the primary weapon and little else to speak of beyond that.

But now with Kyren Williams and another breakout player, receiver Puka Nacua, added to the mix for Stafford, the hard-charging Rams have the offensive ingredients to give opposing teams fits, both now and in the postseason.

Based on how they are playing now, there’s every reason to believe they could close the season with a 10-7 record. Their only defeat in recent weeks came on a rare punt return touchdown in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens, currently the No. 1 team in the AFC.

The Los Angeles Rams, who are second in the NFC West, have games against the New Orleans Saints, the New York Giants, and the San Francisco 49ers to close out the season.

The Rams have long struggled against the division-rival 49ers, losing nine straight regular-season games. And few teams, if any, can match the 49ers’ offensive firepower. Maybe this time, with Kyren Williams, the Rams can.