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Los Angeles Rams Week 7: Roster overview

The stars played well, but it was career bests from Okoronkwo & Rapp that stole the show...

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A trip to the east coast in Week 6. No problem. Sean McVay’s road warriors were back and in full display. Just to note: in 2017 and 2018, McVay’s teams were 13-3 on the road; going 7-1 and 6-2 respectively. In 2019 and 2020, McVay’s teams went 8-8; going 4-4 in both years. In 2021 so far, the Rams are 3-0 with wins on the road against IND*, SEA*, and NYG (* = 2020 playoff teams). Its still early, but typically strong road teams (6 or more road wins) win Super Bowls. The only outlier in the last 6 years was NE in 2018 with 3.

While NYG was a weaker opponent, it was pleasing to see a dominant performance by the defense and for the overall team to put NYG down after the 1st half. With that being said, I applaud McVay for still demanding better/more from his offense to start faster.

Let’s look at those numbersssssssss.

OFFENSE

QB

Matthew Stafford: 77.5 (-1.6), John Wolford: 40.3 (N/A)

Like I said, McVay is right that the offense needs to find its rhythm to start games quicker. Stafford had 3 incompletions and took 2 sacks (coverage sacks, but still need to get rid of it) in the first two offensive drives. After that: 19/22, 4 TDs, 1 INT (as 1st half expired), and 0 sacks. And another week, another no look pass by Stafford; this time to Kupp for Kupp’s 2nd TD. Worth noting here though - since Week 2, Stafford’s grade has dropped each week (less than 2.0 each week). Is that because of a few INTs and some sailed throws? Worth watching... Nonetheless, Stafford is up 1838 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT and a QBR of 75.0.

Wolford came in at the end of the game but did not look as confident as he did in the Arizona game (Week 17) and SEA wild card game. Going 0-2 with an INT and 2 rushes, -1 yards.

Week 6 Grade: B+, Overall: A-, Trend: Very Slight Upward

RBs

Darrell Henderson: 69.5 (+3.3), Sony Michel: 61.0 (+1.1), Jake Funk: 63.6 (DNP)

Still no 100 yard rusher through 6 weeks for the RB room. But it was another positive performance for the group. Henderson was fed 21 carries for 78 yards (3.7 avg), 1 TD. He added 2 rec (3 targets), 29 yards, 1 rec TD. The receiving TD was a great ball by Stafford to give Hendo an easy score. This was a throw that Goff struggled to make in 2019 and 2020. Sony Michel added 9 carries, 42 yards (4.7 avg). Together: 32 touches, 149 yards from scrimmage (120 rushing, 4.0 avg). I’ll take that.

In sad news, Jake Funk tore his hamstring and has been placed on IR.

Week 6 Grade: A-, Overall: A-, Trend: Very Slight Upward

WRs

Robert Woods: 73.1 (-0.9), Cooper Kupp: 87.7 (+3.2), Van Jefferson: 66.3 (-1.9), DeSean Jackson: 73.7 (-2.6), TuTu Atwell: 60.6 (+0.6), Bennett Skowronek: 73.5 (+13.5)

Clocking in as PFF’s #2 WR: Cooper Kupp. Another monster game for WR1; adding 9 rec (12 targets), 130 yards, 2 TDs. It was more of the same for Kupp: some fancy footwork by the sideline, some YAC, and just excellent hands and route running.

Woods fell back to earth (expected) with only 2 rec (5 targets), 31 yards, 1 TD. Van Jefferson caught 3 of 4 targets for 19 yards.

DJax caught is only target for 6 yards.

Prediction for DET game: Van has the monster game for the WRs.

The WR room is quietly growing in depth with Bennett Skowronek getting some time on the field. And showing some ability in the punt fake pass play.

Week 6 Grade: A-, Overall: A-, Trend: Very Slight Upward

TEs

Tyler Higbee: 66.2 (+5.7), Johnny Mundt: 64.7 (+0.4), Brycen Hopkins: DNP, Jacob Harris: 58.7 (-1.3)

The Rams lost Johnny Mundt to an ACL which is a quiet, yet steady blow after seeing him improve his PFF grade every single week in 2021. With Higbee being a guy that is constantly banged up, the TE room is showing cracks of unproven ability. Jacob Harris will likely get the nod as TE2, but will that be enough to get him on the field? He got time with the 1s in camp, but is McVay ready to pull that trigger? I feel like this week and next week is a great way to get him acclimated against sub .500 teams.

Higbee put together 5 rec (5 targets) for 36 yards. More will be needed from Higbee if the Harris/Hopkins experiment doesn’t work.

Week 6 Grade: C+, Overall: C, Trend: Slight Downward (Mundt Injury...)

OL

Andrew Whitworth: 77.8 (+2.2), Joe Noteboom: 57.4 (-2.6), David Edwards: 69.1 (-0.4), Brian Allen: 72.2 (-2.2), Austin Corbett: 71.2 (+2.3), Rob Havenstein: 75.5 (-0.4)

Not bad from the boys upfront. Some early pressures early on in the game from the interior OL. I have always respected the iDL from New York (D. Lawrence, A. Johnson, and L. Williams) is a good opposing group. Good to see the Rams OL get more push than they did vs NYG in Week 5 of the 2020 season.

Edwards and Allen were credited with the sacks allowed on Stafford, but I do think those were coverage sacks with Stafford not having a scramble lane/needing to get rid of the ball to someone’s feet.

Whitworth got a little nicked up at the end of the game, but Noteboom came in to replace him. I would have liked to see more backup reserves come in: Shelton + Anchrum to spare Havenstein and another OL.

Week 6 Grade: B+, Overall: A-, Trend: Neutral

DEFENSE

DL

Aaron Donald: 91.7* (+0.5), Sebastian Joseph-Day: 69.2 (+3.8), A’Shawn Robinson: 67.6 (-0.5), Greg Gaines: 69.9 (-5.1), Jonah Williams: 73.6 (+7.0), Mike Hoecht: 42.0 (-4.7)

AD99 has been a monster in the run game as of late. His run defense grade has skyrocketed to 83.6 after being at 66.9 after Week 3. I continue to hope that AD99’s stamina is sustainable. I do notice him late getting set to rush on plays. I scratch my heads sometime wondering why? In the end, he’s still a game wrecker and the best defensive player in the league even going into his 30s. But it does seem less and less than the high sack totals are in the past and he’ll hover in the 9-13 range from here on out. AD99 is up to 3.5 (89 overall) on the 2021 season.

The next DL question: is A’Shawn’s 19% snap share because of the NYG going with 54 pass plays vs 15 runs. Or is it AShawn falling out of favor? He only played 20% snaps vs SEA. I don’t think he has played bad. I’ve seen hustle plays and good things in the run game. But his seat could be getting warm with Greg Gaines and Jonah Williams playing at a high level. Not to mention Bobby Brown III waiting to be active sooner than later you’d think.

The Giants run game only managed 15 carries for 56 yards (3.7 avg).

Week 6 Grade: B+, Overall: A-, Trend: Slight Upward

ILBs

Kenny Young: 59.5 (+0.5), Troy Reeder: 69.4 (-0.9), Ernest Jones: 53.2 (-7.3)

Good thing about blow outs is that rookies get more PT. E. Jones saw a 35% snap share on defense, which should help the Rams this offseason when they need to make decisions about their ILBs free agents.

KY added 4 tackles (1 TFL) and Reeder/Jones both added 5 tackles (3 solo each).

Week 6 Grade: C+, Overall: C, Trend: Very Slight Upward

EDGE

Leonard Floyd: 69.2 (+5.6), Justin Hollins: 71.4 (IR), Terrell Lewis: 53.1 (+0.4), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo: 80.6 (+22.2), Chris Garrett: 53.8 (INA), Justin Lawlar: 63.8 (DNP), Jamir Jones: 49.9 (N/A)

It’s a great sign to see Floyd turn his offseason contract into positive progression in the 2021 season. His 1.5 sacks paced the Edge rushers while also recovering a fumble. He’s now up to 4.5 sacks on the season; so far justifying Les Snead’s extension to the former 1st rounder. Terrell Lewis. 3 starts. 3 sacks! 1 TFL. Again, love that the kid is on the field and making the most of his time.

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo stole the PFF grades for the week though. His 91.6 for Week 6 was Top 10 in the NFL. He added a sack of his own + FF that flipped field position drastically. What was fearing to be a thin unit going into 2021, not to mention after Hollins injury, is suddenly showing the most consistency in the last 2 years?

Week 6 Grade: A+, Current Grade: B, Trend: Moderate Upward

CBs

Jalen Ramsey: 73.9 (-0.2), Darious Williams: 61.3 (IR), David Long Jr.: 64.1 (+2.1), Robert Rochell: 64.9 (-4.3), Donte Deayon: 71.6 (N/A)

Ramsey had a beautiful open field tackle on a RB screen that saved a potential explosive play for NYG.

Rochell got the nod again as a starter; playing 95% of the defensive plays. He collected his 1 INT which is great for the young rook, but all things considered - the WR did slip and fall. But a pick is a pick.

In a surpise, Donte Deayon took time away from David Long Jr who is in the dog house it seems (only seeing field in the 4th Q when the game was out of hand). Deayon played well (against below average NYG WRs). He took 88% of the snap share, while Long Jr saw 27%.

Week 6 Grade: B, Overall: B-, Trend: Slight Upward

S

Jordan Fuller: 65.7 (+7.2), Taylor Rapp: 63.9 (+10.2), Terrell Burgess: 65.1 (+4.9), Nick Scott: 46.0 (+4.9), JR Reed: DNP

Good news: Burgess got on the field. Unfortunately it was only for 9 snaps and from what I remember correctly, that was predominantly on the NYG 1st drive. His grade was up, but why was he benched? Not a good sign for his stock moving forward...

Especially since Taylor Rapp had a career game with 2 INTs. This buys Rapp more time moving forward since Burgess isn’t ready in the coaches’ eyes.

Jordan Fuller stood out with his presence around the ball. 11 tackles (8 solo). He looked like he was anticipating plays a lot better.

Week 6 Grade: A-, Overall: B-, Trend: Moderate Upward

ST

Johnny Hekker: 67.4 (+1.7), Matt Gay: 66.2 (+2.2)

Johnny Hekker is on a tear right now. 4 more punts found themselves downed inside the 20. 76.5% of his punts this year are landing there. Next closest in the league is Wischnowsky from SF who is at 63.2%. Hekker’s play this year has yet to be highlighted significantly by media, but I’ve been seeing it week in and week out. Looks like Les Snead made a brilliant offseason move again with Hekker (getting him to take a paycut + turning Bojorquez into a draft pick). Shame on a lot of us for thinking Hekker’s run was over. Not to mention, Hekker was jipped out of a fake punt 1st down pass completion to Skowronek. NFL referees decided to throw the penalty flags on a mystifying unsportsmanlike conduct penalty - offsetting for both teams. Yea....OK. Quality product NFL.

Gay knocked his 1 FG attempt through from 32 yards out. He was 5/5 on XPs. The Giants did return his kick offs for 24.2 yards on average. He has struggled to generate touchbacks in that area.

As mentioned before, the Rams lost their kick returner in Jake Funk to a hamstring.

For punt returns, Atwell flashed more ability this week; returning two punts for 28 yards. His longest going for 17 yards.

Week 6 Grade: A, Overall: B+, Trend: Slight Upward

MCVAY AND CO.

McVay actually went with 31 runs and 32 passes, a well balanced game plan. I’m pleased to see his reactions to yes getting a win, but still demanding more at the start of a game + ending the half with a INT.

Raheem’s D had their best game. Perhaps a building block for a D that is trying to find its footing with guys like Rapp/Rochell/AShawn. It was a weak offensive opponent but they dispatched of them appropriately. Can the D do it again vs DET?

DiCamillis is getting the best out of Hekker. Can’t complain there...

5-1. 3-0 on the road. Back home we go. Rams vs. Lions.

Week 6 Grade: McVay: A-/Morris: A-/DiCamillis: A, Overall: A-, Trend: Slight-to-Moderate Upward