St. Louis Rams: First Downs and Touchdowns

Dilip Vishwanat

Newsflash: First downs and touchdowns are a pretty important ingredient to an NFL team’s offensive success. Knowing this, the good folks over at Pro Football Focus have formulated a statistic which highlights how the 2012 Wide Receivers performed in regards to both.

In terms of routes run, the stats display what percentage of catches a Wide Receiver had in correlation with whether or not they resulted in a First Down or Touchdown. Let’s take a look at the cream of the crop [full PFF list here]:


Player

Routes Run

1DTD

1DTD Percentage

1. Andre Johnson

531

79

14.88%

2. Percy Harvin

261

36

13.79%

3. Brandon Marshall

546

75

13.74%

4. Michael Crabtree

433

57

13.16%

5. Calvin Johnson

770

95

12.34%


Not a bad bunch. Interestingly enough, a now former St. Louis Rams Wide Receiver just missed the Top 5. That WR - as you might have guessed - is none other than Danny Amendola.


Player

Routes Run

1DTD

1DTD Percentage

6. Danny Amendola

325

39

12.00%


Amendola - the heir apparent to Wes Welker in New England - has been the Rams most reliable [when healthy] receiver in recent memory. Though oft-injured, Amendola was/is electric when on the field, and his productivity/play-making ability will certainly be missed.


So who is the Rams top-rated 1DTD player? It took a bit of scrolling to find him, but along the way I bumped into a few familiar names of interest. How are some of the former Rams receivers stacking up?


Player

Routes Run

1DTD

1DTD Percentage

27. Danario Alexander

314

29

9.24%

28. Brandon Gibson

474

43

9.07%

41. Brandon Lloyd

595

50

8.40%


Amongst the short list of recent Rams is newly acquired Miami Dolphins' wideout, Brandon Gibson. Unlike Amendola, who missed five games due to injury, Gibson played the entirety of the 2012 season, lead the team in touchdowns, and the 1DTD numbers listed above show that his absence in the offense should not go unnoticed. Whether or not Gibson was still a fit, or whether the price tag determined his worth on the team, the Rams - statistically - lost a large chunk of their offense when Gibby took his talents to South Beach.


As for the two remaining/current Rams receivers who did make the list:


Player

Routes Run

1DTD

1DTD Percentage

60. Chris Givens

367

25

6.81%

79. Austin Pettis

270

16

5.93%


So, since you’re asking, let’s do some simple addition to see what the Rams have lost, and...well...what’s left.


Player(s)

Routes Run

1DTD

1DTD Percentage

Amendola/Gibson

799

82

10.26%

Givens/Pettis

637

41

6.43%


The figures in the chart above are also a bit misleading as a result of Amendola missing games last season. Had he been able to play, you can factor in that he was averaging 30 routes and 3.5 1DTD’s per game. The stats for Amendola/Gibson would then look closer to 950 and 100, and an even higher 1DTD percentage of 10.52%


Though Amendola only played in 11 games, he lead the team in receptions last season, hauling in 63 balls...Gibson finished second on the team with 51. Givens and Pettis combined for 72. Pettis caught less balls (30) than Lance Kendricks (42) and Steven Jackson (38).


Sam Bradford Threw For 21 TD’s & 185 1st Downs in 2012 [206 combined]


So what does it all mean? Well, nothing more than you already knew. The Rams lost two receiving threats and need help at WR, whether it comes in the form of free agency or in the upcoming draft. They saw what they got in rookie Chris Givens in 2012...blazing vertical speed that can blow the top off of defenses [specifically 49er’s safety Craig Dahl]. Pettis, however, is a bit more of an enigma. He’s shown the ability to make big plays, yet he’s been such a small facet of the passing game [57 receptions in two seasons]. Pettis is now the ‘veteran’ presence amongst the Wide Receiver corps...assuming Steve Smith is no longer with the team [note: that portion of the sentence was probably not necessary].


Brian Quick - the 33rd overall selection from 2012’s Draft - is going to need to step up big this season, and the addition of Jared Cook could help fill the slot position that Danny Amendola left vacant. With that being said, the Rams still seem to have more questions than answers at this point, at least in regards to their receivers.


The Rams have two first round picks this April, and aren’t sitting on a large pile money to spend in free agency. Could one of the two first round picks help solidify the cast of receivers in St. Louis? Do the Rams need a ‘veteran’ wide receiver...err...someone who’s over the age of 24?


The clock is ticking, and the majority of big name FA wideouts have already found new homes. The loss of Amendola and Gibson may not be as easy to replace as one might think. At this point our thoughts on whether or not they should have been retained is moot. What’s the plan to replace nearly 1,000 routes run and 100 1DTD’s?

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