The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia recently posted an article where he ranked all 32 NFL teams by how good he believes their offense will be in 2020. On this same list last season, the Rams were ranked 17th, with that ranking being based on Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. It’s basically a method attempting to see the real value of offenses while pitting each unit against a hypothetical “equal schedule” of defensive talent, or rather how each offense would have faired against an average defense in all situations.
After being ranked near the middle of the league last season, the Rams drop a couple spots to No. 19. Here’s what Kapadia had to say about their rank:
“Blaming last year’s offensive decline on Gurley would be unfair. The Rams’ offensive line took a big step backwards and remains a big question going into 2020. Jared Goff ranked 34th in completion percentage above expectation, threw 16 interceptions and fumbled 10 times. The Rams are much more likely to repeat last year’s performance than revert to 2018 form.”
To a degree, he’s correct. All the blame can’t be put on Gurley, but I would say a decent amount stemmed from his lingering knee issues which, in turn, forced him to play minimal snaps while also not being as efficient in those looks. Yes, the offensive line was bad, but Gurley was the type of talent that helped the offense transcend that issue.
Heading into 2020, the team is now without Gurley but bring in rookie Cam Akers. The team is also without Brandin Cooks, but he wasn’t really a factor in 2019, either. This team’s success this year will rely on the ground game staying just above-average while hoping Goff doesn’t get near his 16 interceptions from a season ago. With three backs — one veteran and two youngsters — looking to all bear some burden for snaps, the offensive will actually have to play up to par or this team’s usual recipe for success may just fall flat once more.
Now for today’s links.
Aaron Donald talks being back in the facility and his expectations for himself on defense (TheRams.com)
Cameron DaSilva highlights Aaron Donald’s lack of interest in wearing the Oakley Face Shield (The Rams Wire)
WR Coach Eric Yarber needs his veterans to maintain quality depth at the position (TheRams.com)
The Rams were one of the best in the NFL at sending five rushers on defense (Ramblin’ Fan)
Sheil Kapadia ranks all 32 NFL offenses (The Athletic)
Latest win-loss predictions for all 32 teams (Bleacher Report)
NFL coaches discuss the residual effects from canceling preseason games (ESPN)
ESPN Staff puts together the best of training news and facts from Wednesday (ESPN)
Joel Corry chats with NFL agents about how opt-outs this season will affect future caps (CBS Sports)