The 2017 Los Angeles Rams had one of the best offenses in the league last year in Head Coach Sean McVay’s first year at the helm. But in 2018, many are looking for more as McVay invites more complexity into the scheme he’ll ask QB Jared Goff to run with expectations for the Rams’ season at higher levels than at any time in the last decade and a half.
Perhaps then it’s a bit deflating to see some over/under bets released by online betting house BetOnline.AG that don’t exactly portend huge statistical explosions for Goff, RB Todd Gurley or WR Brandin Cooks.
QB Jared Goff
Passing Yards: Over/Under 3,925
Touchdown Passes: Over/Under 27
Interceptions: Over/Under 11.5
2017 Passing Yards: 3,804
2017 Touchdown Passes: 28
2017 Interceptions: 7
While their odds aren’t looking at much change from a yardage or touchdown perspective, they do see a pretty big jump in interceptions. I wonder if that’s related to the idea of offering Goff a bit more level of difficulty in the offense this year or if they simply expect a bit of a regression.
RB Todd Gurley
Rushing Yards: Over/Under 1,350
Total Touchdowns: Over/Under 15.5
2017 Rushing Yards: 1,305
2017 Total Touchdowns: 19
Yeesh. Is this one more confrontational than the Goff predictions? Is it about Gurley? The O-line? About a rookie draft pick waiting in the wings for carries? About defenses figuring something out about McVay’s offense or the heavy implementation (and wild success in 2017) of the Rams’ screen game?
It’s not a resounding insult by any means; the numbers are similar to Gurley’s 2017 season in which he put up MVP-caliber numbers, but there was plenty of room for improvement that this over/under certainly isn’t getting behind.
WR Brandin Cooks
Receiving Yards: Over/Under 775
Total Touchdowns: Over/Under 5.5
2017 Receiving Yards*: 1,082
2017 Total Touchdowns*: 7
* - Cooks spent 2017 on the New England Patriots
That’s a huge drop off in yards from 2017, and one that I’m sure many would understand the source of. Last year’s Rams were 10th in the NFL in passing yards and yet their receiving yards leader was rookie WR Cooper Kupp with 869, good for 24th in the NFL. It was clear that the Rams’ 2017 offense was built on balancing their targets across the board and forcing defenses to respect the entire offense and not just primary targets.
I do wonder though how fans would treat a season like this from Cooks. After three 1,000-yard seasons prior split between the New Orleans Saints and Patriots, would it be looked at as a deficiency from the Rams’ offense? And for fans who were reticent to see the Rams re-sign WR Sammy Watkins after putting up 593 yards and 8 touchdowns, would they maintain that reticence for keeping Cooks if he puts up something similar given that his contract expires after this season?
Given the blockbuster nature of the Rams’ personnel moves early this offseason before we even got to the 2018 NFL Draft, fans are expecting more out of the team this year. If these prop bets are any indication, fans perhaps should be prepared instead for more of the same.
For better or worse.