The Rams and the Art of Deception

One of the things I really love about the Rams is how they well they set up their tendencies and run everything off of that. A big part of that success hinges on actually picking up consistent yards on your signature plays.

The Rams run the ball very well. They’ve done so all year. Todd Gurley [30] – in the backfield on this play – averaged 4.9 yards per carry this season. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry in this game. So when the Rams run play action to him, defenses pay attention to him because they have to.

When you have that weapon, a lot of good things can work as a result of it.

On this play, we see a play action to the left and Tyler Higbee [89] getting wide open in the flat. The simple act of play action works really well to move the defense away from that side of the field, but the Rams work hard to sell it. They work very hard to sell that misdirection, then run some nice trickery on the back-end to spring Higbee.

This is the side the play is going to. Not only are they running play action, but they show some down-blocking from the two men on the edge.

Higbee gives a little shift in to almost/kinda/sorta sell a block before releasing to the outside. Again, that movement – combined with the downblocking from the man outside of him – helps sell the run. Jeff Heath [38] sees Higbee, but he is taken out by a downblock/clear-out route from Josh Reynolds [83].

Misdirection off the play-action, then movement on the play side to help spring Higbee. At the end of the play, Higbee picked up 19 yards on 2nd & 7.

The Rams are so good at this. I’ve said it a thousand times: all things work in harmony.

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