In a recent post from his must-read NFC West blog on ESPN, Mike Sando asked a question that has been on our mind as well, here at the RamsHerd:
As noted after Week 1, I'm still waiting to see whether the Rams are better off running the ball with fullback Mike Karney on the field. This [Jackson's 58-yard run, from a single-back set] was a second-and-10 play. I'm hoping to chart the Rams' personnel use before time runs short.Fortunately for us, we don't have to wait for Sando to chart the Rams' personnel use, as Pro Football Focus is doing it for us. Here is the Game 1 player participation log, with Game 2 hopefully launching later this week. Here are some observations, based on the week 1 numbers, after the break:
- Karney lined up for 23 plays, 2 of which were shut down by pre-snap penalties.
- Of those 21 plays that counted, only four came in the second half, none in the fourth quarter with the Rams already down 28-0.
- Karney's appearance in the backfield does not necessarily signal a run play -- the Rams only ran 11 times in those 21 snaps. Once, Karney was targeted with a pass, but did not come down with it.
- Yardage gained from running plays with Karney, listed consecutively: 1, 2, 2, 8, 10, 8, 2, 0, -2, 5, 2. 11 attempts, 38 yards. (average of 3.45 yards per carry).
- Yardage gained from running plays without Karney (not counting Bulger's 2 yard "scramble"): 37 yards in 6 carries. (average of 6.1 yards per carry).