As a team the Los Angeles Rams suffered a staggering loss to their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. However, after filtering through the pink fog of the protester that got slammed by the Rams’ Bobby Wagner, there some interesting takeaways on an individual level.
Here’s who stood out according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), along with some notes on each side of the football.
Top 5 graded players on offense:
1 - Cooper Kupp, WR: 78.3
The star receiver was targeted a whopping 17 times, converting 14 of those into 122 yards - 56 of these were earned after the catch.
The Rams need to find a way to get other receiving threats involved, but that’s not Kupp’s fault or problem.
2 - Rob Havenstein, RT: 70.0
Havenstein was dependable on the right side of the line, just as he’s been all season in 2022. The veteran is doing a commendable job filling in for the leader of the unit after the retirement of Andrew Whitworth.
3 - Brandon Powell, WR: 67.7
Powell doesn’t play much on offense, but when he’s in the game he usually is touching the ball.
Despite only playing 6 snaps, Powell was giving a single handoff that he took for 11 yards. It was the longest rushing attempt by the Rams in the entire game.
4 - Tyler Higbee, TE: 66.9
The veteran TE caught 10 passes on 14 targets for 73 yards - 42 of those yards came after the catch was made.
5 - Darrell Henderson, RB: 58.3
Technically Lance McCutcheon (1 snap) and Malcolm Brown (2 snaps) were higher on the list, but without either one of them touching the ball or getting targeted it’s not fair to put them above Henderson.
It says a lot when a player earns a below average PFF grade but ends up in the top five on the entire offense - just a wholly deficient performance by Sean McVay’s crew on Monday night.
Other notes on offense:
Matthew Stafford received his lowest grade of the 2022 season so far, and PFF credited him with 2 turnover-worthy throws. With an average depth of target of only 5.7 yards, he inversely did not record a single big-time throw.
After filtering out players who have played less than 20% of the league-leading 198 drop backs, Stafford ranks 21st among QB’s in total PFF offensive grade with a mark of 64.9. This is well behind Geno Smith, Jacoby Brissett, Davis Mills, Mitchell Trubisky, and Jimmy Garoppolo.
LA should expect much more out of their quarterback that gets paid $40M per year.
Top 5 graded players on defense:
1 - Bobby Wagner, MLB: 76.4
Wagner made an impressive stop on the ball carrier short of the goal line with the 49ers well-positioned in the red zone. Aside from a long TD run of 32 yards, the Rams mostly bottled up San Francisco’s ground attack - Wagner played a significant role in that.
2 - Leonard Floyd, OLB: 76.0
He didn’t add much as a pass rusher and he has not yet recorded a sack in 2022, but Floyd has been a solid run defender for LA - he earned a mark of 73.5 in this facet on Monday night.
3 - Jalen Ramsey, CB: 72.9
Ramsey has strung together two good performances after coming alive in Week 3 versus the Arizona Cardinals. He wasn’t targeted by Garoppolo a single time according to PFF, and he seems to be trending in the right direction.
4 - A’Shawn Robinson, DE: 71.2
5 - Greg Gaines, DT: 70.7
Wagner, Robinson, and Gaines led the Rams to the best run stopping performance the team has had against San Francisco in several years, except for getting gashed on the aforementioned 32-yard TD run.
LA has a formidable rushing defense, but they lack juice rushing the passer.
Other notes on defense:
As was the case over and over again in previous matchups, Los Angeles knew San Francisco would targeted short completions over the middle of the field. Ernest Jones was targeted 6 times on such plays, giving up 5 catches for 47 yards (9.4 avg).
After getting targeted 16 (!) times last week against the Cardinals, rookie corner Derion Kendrick saw another 7 passes come his way again in Week 4. The 49ers converted 5 of those for 101 yards and a touchdown, with 57 coming on a single catch and run by Deebo Samuel.