A well executed pass play is a thing of beauty. Every millisecond from the moment the ball is snapped to the instant it touches the receiver’s fingers is critical. But flawless execution is easier said than done.
Receivers may slip, get jammed at the line, or fail to break when they needed to. Quarterbacks get pressured forcing them to make an errant pass, they may mistime a throw, have it tipped at the line, and weather can play factor — for both positions. That is to say a lot of things must go right in order for a play prove successful.
Pro Football Focus, as you may very well know, likes to dig a little deeper when it comes to football analytics, and they place a focus on the “catchable” and “uncatchable” passes. You can read a little bit more about that here if you’d like.
But today’s focus is on their recent list of Top 10 active wide receiver-quarterback tandems in catchable target percentage. The Los Angeles Rams have not one, but two, WR-QB tandems on their list — and again, this is among all active players.
7. BRANDIN COOKS, JARED GOFF, LOS ANGELES RAMS
79.1% Catchable Target Percentage
Goff, the only quarterback to be listed with two separate receivers on this list, targeted Cooks 110 times, 87 of which were catchable balls (79.1%). Although the sample size is small relative to this group, the duo still managed to gain 1,204 yards on catchable passes, good enough for an average of 10.9 yards per attempt which exceeds all other duos on this list.
For the fourth straight season - and with this third different team - Cooks eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in receiving. And the 1,204 yards marks the highest of his young career. I’m not certain why he can’t seem to find a home, but the Rams locked him up for five years last summer, so he and Goff can just continue to pick apart opposing defenses for several more years together. And that’s fine by me.
The next Rams’ WR-QB duo on PFF’s list...
1. COOPER KUPP, JARED GOFF, LOS ANGELES RAMS
84.9% Catchable Target Percentage
Since Kupp entered the league in 2017, he has done nothing but be the go-to slot receiver for Los Angeles as the Rams’ quarterback has had a 127.0 passer rating, 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions when targeting the young receiver with catchable passes. Although, they’re not the longest-tenured couple – Kupp’s 84.9 catchable pass percentage leads all qualifying duos
Kupp saw 50 targets in just eight games last year as a consequence of his season being cut short due to an ACL injury. The excitement is mounting for the Rams receiver’s return, and his name has even been circulating in Comeback Player of the Year discussions as we approach NFL Training Camp. Undoubtedly a challenge, although, that award may not be out of reach for Kupp. In one-and-a-half seasons Goff has targeted Kupp 139 times resulting in 118 catchable passes. If the L.A. duo continues at this rate, they could be one of the most in-sync duos in the entire league.
That’s right. Numero uno.
Kupp was primed for a promising sophomore season in the NFL, but was unfortunately cut (8 games) short due to a season-ending ACL injury. He’ll be back this year, and it’s fair to assume that Goff will go back to him early and often in the coming year.
Robert Woods, who didn’t make the list, lead the Rams in receptions (86), yardage (1,219) and touchdowns (6, tied with Kupp) last season. He and Goff didn’t make the list, but he’s also awesome and awesomeness deserves recognition. The Rams are stacked at wide receiver.
Sidenote: Michael Thomas and Drew Brees finished second on PFF’s Top 10 list. That’s the same spot they finished in the NFC last season, which is pretty neat.