It was Week 13 when rookie running back Cam Akers found a rhythm, scoring a touchdown for a third consecutive game and helping deliver the Los Angeles Rams a key 38-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Stuck playing a role in a running back committee, Akers emerged that afternoon as a feature back with some sage advice: Running backs tend to find a better flow with more touches.
Rams coach Sean McVay must have been listening because moving forward it was Akers, a second-round pick from Florida State, who the offense relied on for some big backfield performances.
Akers wasn't the only rookie to emerge for the 10-6 Rams. Safety Jordan Fuller played a starring role in the secondary and receiver Van Jefferson stepped up in the postseason.
But it was the emergence of Akers, drafted to replace Todd Gurley II, that provides the most promise for an offense that must be more consistent in 2021 behind new quarterback Matthew Stafford.
"Probably about midseason, that's when I started to get a good grasp on the run concepts, what the coaches wanted," Akers said after the season. "I just kind of settled in, played football and it showed."