The Los Angeles Rams overcame a forgetful first half to beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Week 6. Sean McVay’s offense started the game without Cam Akers, Van Jefferson, David Edwards, Brian Allen, and Coleman Shelton. He saw a sixth starter exit the game, losing Joe Noteboom to a season-ending achilles injury. In accordance, McVay with no other options (again) was forced to rely on depth pieces and mid-season signings to get the job done. The win required more time than you would like to see against an inferior opponent, but nonetheless LA improved to 3-3 and inexperienced depth pieces on offense are turning into regular contributors. Is more offensive production on the horizon?
In order to gain a sense of the performance of the roster and its direction, Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded out all the players from the Week 6 contest. Using the PFF grades and the eye test of watching the game, I will provide a weekly evaluation/grades.
Weekly Grade: Grade for that respective week
Season Grade: Grade for the position over the course of the season
Trend: Direction of the position group from last week to this week
*Denotes a player ranked in the Top 3 at the position*
Matthew Stafford: 62.0 (+3.8), John Wolford: DNP, Bryce Perkins: DNP
Stafford finished 26/33 for 253 yards, one touchdown, and one interception (pick six). After getting through the first half and the first drive of the second half, Stafford proceeded to go 16/18 on the next three drives. The efficiency saw LA score 17 points within those three drives.
Despite yet another pick six, Stafford was not credited with a turnover-worthy throw. Yet that can be subjective to some as the intended window to Kupp was rather small.
Of the 28 quarterbacks with 125 or more pass attempts this season, only one has thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes:— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 18, 2022
Matthew Stafford pic.twitter.com/bmV4h9fYbl
Week 6 Grade: C+, Season Grade: D, Trend: Slight Upward
Cam Akers: 59.0 (INA), Darrell Henderson: 57.2 (+0.8), Kyren Williams: IR, Malcolm Brown: 63.2 (+3.7), Ronnie Rivers: 64.2
The run game was not your typical rushing attack that we saw from Weeks 1-5. McVay utilized more jet sweeps and incorporated the wide receivers to be effective running the ball. While Henderson and Brown did not rack up many yards, Henderson did convert a 3rd & long situation. Both Henderson and Brown are underrated in pass pro, something that Cam Akers is not exactly a fan of.
Darrell Henderson has played the most pass protection snaps of all RBs without allowing a pressure. 24. That’s tied for the 5th most in the league.— JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) October 10, 2022
Najee Harris - 38 with 2 SK / 3 PR
Patrick Ricard - 31 with 4 PR
Devin Singletary - 27 with 4 PR
Josh Jacobs - 26 with SK / 2 PR
Week 6 Grade: C-, Season Grade: D+, Trend: Slight Upward
Cooper Kupp: 87.2* (+0.2), Allen Robinson II: 60.9 (+6.3), Van Jefferson: IR, Tutu Atwell: 67.8 (+1.8), Bennett Skowronek: 55.7 (+0.7), Brandon Powell: 71.5 (-1.2), Lance McCutcheon: 59.3 (DNP)
Cooper Kupp finally got some help from his teammates. Robinson, Atwell, Skowronek, and Powell were effective in moving the chains. Kupp was still the leading receiver with seven receptions (eight targets) for 80 yards.
Allen Robinson finally produced for what he was labeled and prescribed to do in the offense - high pointing and winning jump balls on a consistent basis. Robinson’s attitude and demeanor just looked significantly more engaged this week. I imagine being targeted early in the game helps with that.
In goal-to-go situations, let's look at the top receivers sorted by targets through Week 6 in 2022 per @TruMediaSports.— Corbin (@corbin_young21) October 19, 2022
I highlighted a few interesting receivers in Allen Robinson, Garrett Wilson, & Josh Reynolds. Though Isaiah McKenzie might warrant some attention. pic.twitter.com/hJtGMsIpWN
Ben Skowronek was five for five on his targets (40 yards) and scored his first NFL touchdown, a 17 yard jet sweep.
Brandon Powell had 40 yards on seven touches. A year ago, Brandon Powell was a free agent. The Rams signed him to shore up their special teams. Little did they know, the fast twitch and toolsy athlete would see a 38% snap share in Week 6 of the 2022 season.
A few observations from today’s Rams game, not about the in-person experience (I’ll share more about that later) but more so about the team’s performance.— Mike Winchell (@mrmikewinch) October 17, 2022
- Brandon Powell was a weapon today (McVay loves using him).
- Skowronek is a good player. Period.
- Ramsey was a beast on D
This group gets an added boost with Van Jefferson returning after the Bye week. McVay might be able to open things up more for the intermediate receivers.
Week 6 Grade: B+, Season Grade: C+, Trend: Slight Upward
Tyler Higbee: 61.8 (-2.4), Brycen Hopkins: 55.3 (-1.8), Kendall Blanton: 70.1 (-12.9)
Not much to write about for the tight ends as Tyler Higbee only caught one pass (two targets) for seven yards. Brycen Hopkins and Kendall Blanton were both active, but the two only saw nine and ten snaps respectively.
Week 6 Grade: D-, Season Grade: C, Trend: Slight Downward
Joe Noteboom: 67.0 (+1.2), David Edwards: 58.2 (IR), Brian Allen: 67.6 (INA), Coleman Shelton: 49.9 (IR), Rob Havenstein: 62.7 (-1.1), Alaric Jackson: 63.8 (+2.7), Tremayne Anchrum: 60.0 (IR), Bobby Evans: 39.2 (+5.7), Jeremiah Kolone: 36.1 (-6.6), Oday Aboushi: 53.1
The offensive line only surrendered one sack, but still remains a revolving door. Joe Noteboom was lost to an Achilles tear. The Rams are now featuring a backup or third string option at every OL position outside of right tackle.
Havenstein, Evans, and Jackson all received positive pass protection grades, but the entire line struggles to generate push in the run game.
Jackson does provide potential upside as a blindside pass protector, but we have yet to see him face an array of NFL pass rushers off the edge.
Rams HC Sean McVay: “What a stud AJ Jackson was.”— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) October 16, 2022
Pivoted seamlessly from RG to LT; McVay said Jackson was outstanding all day.
Week 6 Grade: D+, Season Grade: D-, Trend: Neutral
HC (Sean McVay)
With a depleted roster, this was McVay’s best gameplan and coaching of the season. Yet, he can still improve. Using the receivers to expand the field horizontally was long overdue. With Atwell and Powell, LA needs to continue to make defenses spread wide to defend them. That should allow McVay to throw more wrinkles at defense in the middle of the field.
HB screens were also a great way to beat pressure. It seems that LA finally realized Stafford was getting beat up playing straight out of the shotgun going through reads.
Ronnie Rivers First NFL Catch!— Sidelines - FresnoState (@SSN_FresnoState) October 17, 2022
Moving forward, I would like to see McVay tighten up the offense’s execution in the red zone, 2:00 drills, and avoiding self-inflicted penalties (false starts, delay of game, etc).
Week 6 Grade: B-, Season Grade: C-, Trend: Slight Upward
Stay tuned within the next 24 hours for the defensive PFF grades from Week 6 for the Los Angeles Rams roster overview!