The 2022 season went off the rails for the Los Angeles Rams several weeks ago. The continued slew of injuries along the offensive line have been too much for the offense to overcome, and now LA is also thin at wide receiver.
With no Allen Robinson or Cooper Kupp, the degree of difficulty was incredibly high for Bryce Perkins in his first career start - which came behind this makeshift offensive line. Fortunately there were younger receivers that stepped up and showed promise, and they will have opportunities over the remainder of the season to show they can be trusted heading into 2023.
Here’s who stood out on an individual level in terms of Pro Football Focus (PFF) grading against the Kansas City Chiefs:
Top five grades on offense:
1 - Rob Havenstein, RT: 86.3
The leader along the offensive line earned an elite mark in run blocking - 90.9
2 - Oday Aboushi, RG: 77.8
The interior offensive line struggled in pass protection though the PFF grades tell us Matt Skura was more to blame than Aboushi and Coleman Shelton (63.2).
3 - Tutu Atwell, WR: 72.4
Atwell played a career-high 28 snaps and showed there’s more to his understanding of the route tree than running “go” routes. Hopefully he has an opportunity to play with Matthew Stafford - the Rams’ only NFL caliber thrower of the football - this offseason to further his development.
.@TDN_Perk ➡️ @tutuatwell makin' plays on 4th down!— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 27, 2022
@NFLonFOX | https://t.co/4beUdmlymg pic.twitter.com/mAJ9b7Xvcq
4 - Cam Akers, RB: 71.3
One important note: Akers was asked to help in pass protection on two occasions earning a grade in that facet of 74.5. Rookie Kyren Williams had three pass blocking reps but had a grade of just 15.2. Williams played 39 snaps as opposed to Akers’ 16.
5 - Brandon Powell, WR: 67.5
Other notes on offense:
Perkins earned a 54.1 overall grade, which is notably better than the mark earned by John Wolford in his own start this season against the Arizona Cardinals. Perkins has cemented himself as the primary backup to Matthew Stafford this season, though the Rams should look to upgrade over both Perkins and Wolford this offseason.
The left side of the offensive line did not fare well at all. Rookie seventh round LT AJ Arcuri earned a 48.4 overall grade and a 29.4 pass blocking grade - though he seemed to get more comfortable as the game went on. Veteran LG Matt Skura was slightly lower at 47.2 but struggled in the running game.
Top five grades on defense:
1 - Jalen Ramsey, CB: 76.9
Ramsey was targeted three times in coverage giving up a completion for 39 yards and a touchdown (to Travis Kelce). It was an ugly play for the star corner early in the game, but he fared well for the rest of the afternoon.
Guess who?@PatrickMahomes @TKelce— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2022
: #LARvsKC on FOX
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/Cv6uvjrxvK pic.twitter.com/mErTmECDgZ
2 - Bobby Brown, NT: 73.4
The second-year nose tackle played just five snaps but graded out much better than starter Greg Gaines (31.9). With Gaines set to hit free agency after the season, perhaps it’s time to give Brown more playing time.
3 - Taylor Rapp, DB: 72.5
Rapp was solid on Sunday - giving up five completions on seven attempts for 34 yards (long of 9). The veteran safety likely does not figure into the team’s plans after 2022, but this was one of his better games.
4 - Jonah Williams, DE: 70.7
5 - Aaron Donald, DE: 62.8
This is just about the lowest you will see from Donald, as the Chiefs’ interior offensive line did a fine job slowing the star down. Donald made a number of impact plays early but faded down the stretch. Patrick Mahomes also extended plays and evaded pressure on a number of occasions.
Other notes on defense:
Michael Hoecht, who started his career with the Rams along the interior defensive line, recorded two pressures as an OLB. He was the seventh-highest graded defender for Los Angeles against the Chiefs at 59.9.
Someone named Michael Hoecht dusted Orlando Brown Jr on many occasions last night.— Jinx (@Smartest1here) November 28, 2022
Bobby Wagner continues to struggle in coverage. allowing completions on all three of his targets for 47 yards. Second-year MLB Ernest Jones didn’t fare much better, as he was targeted eight times and gave up six completions for 61 yards.