"I am very high on the Rams this year, believing they will represent the NFC in the L.A. Super Bowl," Schein wrote as part of his analysis. "Akers is a huge part of that. He became the guy at running back down the stretch last season, and it changed the Rams' offense."
Schein's case in point was Akers' 171 rushing yards on 29 carries against the Patriots on Thursday Night Football in Week 11. Including eventual playoff games, that performance marked a five-week stretch during which Akers averaged 97.8 yards per game as the Rams reached the divisional round.
Rams head coach Sean McVay said during the offseason program that what will allow Akers to make a big jump in Year 2 is his grasp of the details of his position.
"The biggest thing that you would talk about is, he's got great natural run instincts, he's really talented as a pass-catcher, it's the nuanced understanding of where you fit in some of the protections when the back is involved," McVay said. "But I think it's just continuing to become more and more complete."
Even in wake of such high praise and expectations, Akers has been taking talk of a big second season and expanded role in stride.
"I just handle it by taking it day-by-day," Akers said during the offseason program. "That's the only thing you can do is make sure that you're doing all you can to be at your best for the team. That's what I've been focusing on doing, whether that's being a leader or making plays, just doing what I can do to help this team. Not making it more than what it is."
For Schein's full breakdown and list of bandwagons, click here.