Coming off a bye week, the 3-4 Los Angeles Rams will be attempting to right the ship and find a way to make it to the playoffs.
If the Rams are going to be a playoff team this season, it will more than likely be because of these players that have made a positive jump in performance heading into the bye week, that will need to continue their high play.
Here are the most improved Rams of 2016:
WR Brian Quick
One of the biggest surprises on the offense has been the play of Brian Quick. During the 2014 season, it appeared as though Quick would finally have his breakout season, but he suffered what could have potentially been a career-ending injury in Week 7. It appears that Quick has finally gotten back on track as comparing both seasons, his numbers are eerily similar.
Quick has played seven games this season totaling three touchdowns and 357 receiving yards. In 2014, he also played seven games and caught three touchdowns and 375 receiving yards.
What does all of this mean? Finally, Quick has proven that he is a dependable receiver. The remaining second half of the season will be important towards his future with the Rams, since he is on a one-year, “prove it” deal.
S Maurice Alexander
Out of the Rams starting players on defense, Maurice Alexander was the biggest question mark. The Rams decided not to re-sign former free safety Rodney McLeod and opted instead to play Alexander who rarely played since being drafted a couple of years prior.
Alexander was an interesting prospect and a player that I thought would have a solid future when I scouted him after the Rams drafted him in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. So far, he’s been everything that I expected and then some. Because of Alexander’s play, the loss of losing McLeod has not been as bad as fans feared it would be before the season.
WR Kenny Britt
When the Rams first brought Britt onto the team during free agency in 2014, he was basically a filler player, a veteran that could have potential but most likely wouldn’t. Instead, Britt became the number one target for the team and one of the core leaders of the offense.
This season he has played better than expected catching 33 passes, 535 receiving yards and two touchdowns, which means he is on pace to become the first Ram to reach 1,000 receiving yards, in a very long time.
CB Lamarcus Joyner
In Joyner’s third season, it appears as though he has finally turned the corner and has become an asset and not a liability. Joyner was drafted to fit a specific role for the Rams as a slot corner, and it has been a role that he has played since he was drafted.
Apparently, it was a role that he was not entirely happy with. Remember HBO’s Hard Knocks season finale during the preseason? Joyner was so upset that he would not be an outside corner that he threatened to take his talents to Walmart.
Joyner was never a good cover corner for the Rams. He was beat often in single coverage, but his saving grace was that he was a physical and willing tackler despite his small size. According to Pro Football Focus’ stats, Joyner has finally learned how to play in coverage.
Joyner is ranked as the fifth-best corner in league thus far. Regardless if he finishes the season as a top-five corner, you can tell that he has not only improved, but he could finally be the dependable player that the Rams envisioned him to be when they drafted him.