Rams plan to keep riding 'choo-choo train' Sony Michel 

The Las Angeles Rams run game has come to life since Sony Michel took over as the starter.

Since Week 13, Michel leads the NFL with 423 rushing yards, providing needed pop to an offense that couldn’t get the train moving on the ground.

“Sony has that mind(set) where ‘I can’t stop chugging along,'” Rams defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson said this week, via the L.A. Daily News. “He’s like a choo-choo train. It’s just ‘choooo! choooo!'”

Michel had a career-high 27 carries in Week 16, generating 131 yards and a TD. On a day when quarterback Matthew Stafford struggled, Michel’s big day was sorely needed. The back, who battled knee injuries before being traded from New England to L.A. this offseason, has shown power through the hole and a willingness to take on defenders head-on.

“Sony is a hard-nosed running back,” said Robinson — an Alabama product who faced the Georgia RB in the SEC. “One of the best things he did when he came in (to the NFL) was add on a little bit more weight to give him a little more power, a little more muscle mass to run into people’s faces even more.”

Since taking over as the starter four weeks ago, Michel has injected life into L.A.’s run game. Only the Rams back and the Colts’ Jonathan Taylor (421) have 400-plus rushing yards since Week 13.

Michel has generated 115 scrimmage yards in three of his last four games, and the Rams have averaged 124.8 rushing yards per game during their four-game win streak (averaged 95.2 rush YPG in Weeks 1-12 — 24th in NFL.

For Stafford, it’s Michel’s ability to plow through defenders that makes him so tough to take down.

“Nobody really wants to tackle that guy on the second level,” Stafford said. “He does a great job of playing low, giving not much to hit.

“Sometimes it looks like there’s not much (room to run). Then our O-line guys strain a little bit more up front, finish a block, and he slides through a crease and makes a nice run.”

Since Week 13, Michel’s 322 yards after contact trails only Taylor (410). He’s also tied with Taylor for most 10-plus yard runs over that span with 11.

“That’s kind of the goal as a running back,” Michel said Monday. “The offensive line blocks, you may gain 5 yards without being touched. But after someone touches you, how many yards do you gain?”

With Darrell Henderson going on injured reserve and Cam Akers’ status uncertain as he comes off an Achilles injury mind-blowingly quick, the Rams will need to lean on Michel, who has proven a perfect fit in Sean McVay’s offense.

“I think there’s certain players, they bring a certain toughness to your (team),” McVay said. “Sony’s done that.”

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