When Danny Amendola went down last night with a broken collar bone, it was a devastating blow to an already weak passing game.
Danny Amendola is the best wide receiver on the St. Louis Rams' roster. There is no denying that.
Danny Amendola is also an over the middle, short yardage, dink and dunk possession receiver. There is no denying that either.
Danny Amendola is a slot receiver. The Rams desperately need an outside receiving threat.
No wide receiver in the NFL is a bigger part of his team's offense than Amendola, who has been the target of 36.2 percent of Sam Bradford's passes through the first three games of the season. As defenses focused on Amendola, Bradford's production took a dip.
Part of Bradford's attachment to Amendola is based on the fact that the Rams have a very shaky offensive line. The other reason is Bradford doesn't have an elite receiver lined up outside the hash marks.
So now that Amendola is hurt, if the Rams are smart, it could actually help their offense.
Just stop and think about this for a minute.
The Rams offense is going to remain stuck in neutral as long as Danny Amendola is the most explosive weapon they have. The Rams can't operate as a power running team with Amendola in his slot receiver position, because that means there are three wide receivers on the field. The Rams can't operate as a pass-happy offense with Amendola in his slot receiver position, because there aren't any true deep threats to line up on the outside.
So when it comes to Amendola, the Rams have a real dilemma on their hands.
The same drama is starting to play out in New England with Wes Welker, where it's hard to use Welker over the middle of the field along with the Patriots' two outstanding tight ends, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
Now that Amendola is hurt, the Rams will be forced to change their offense, and it's going to make them a better football team.
The Rams are going to have to incorporate Lance Kendricks into the passing game more, and I think Kendricks will do a lot of damage with more room to work with. The Rams will probably also run a lot more two tight end sets, or maybe even use the fullback more and run out of the I-Formation.
Either way, expect a heavy dose of Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson now.
This injury is also going to force Sam Bradford to look to his outside receivers more. Last night, Bradford did most of his damage outside the numbers, and that is a good thing. Guys like Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Brian Quick have to step up now, and I think they will.
So are the Rams a better team without Danny Amendola?
Of course not! He's the Rams' best receiver by a country mile! I hope he's healthy and ready to go next week!
I'm just saying, bottom line, not having him is going to change "the shape" of the Rams' offensive attack by making them more of a power football team, and that is a good thing.
Run the ball, don't turn it over, and let the defense do the rest. Right now, that is a game plan that will travel for the St. Louis Rams.
As always, thanks for reading.