The (3-8) Los Angeles Rams dropped their Week 12 matchup to the (9-2) Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 26-10. The offense was led by Bryce Perkins with Matthew Stafford inactive due to his concussion symptoms from last week’s hit at the New Orleans Saints. The offense with Perkins under center was limited to say the least. How did Perkins and his supporting cast fair?
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 12 contest. Using the PFF grades and the eye test of watching the game, I will provide a weekly evaluation/grade.
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: 67.0 (INA), John Wolford: 45.0 (INA), Bryce Perkins: 58.4 (-6.7)
Bryce Perkins was 13/23, 100 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. 100 passing yards in today’s NFL is not going to win many games. The positives of Bryce Perkins are that he is a competitor and is liked by the team. Physically, he provides dynamic ability as a runner. However, the negatives far outweigh his athleticism. As an NFL quarterback, he does not have great computing skills. If the first read is not open, he cannot progress quickly to his second and third options. His first interception was the result of both slow computing and arm strength. As it stands now, John Wolford is the better backup option. The question is: are either worth retaining next year while factoring other pressing needs on the roster with cap restrictions?
I’m not sure either are worth it...
Week 12 Grade: F, Season Grade: D-, Trend: Moderate Downward
Cam Akers: 67.0 (+2.1), Kyren Williams: 68.2 (-1.6), Malcolm Brown: 55.4 (PS), Ronnie Rivers: 64.5 (PS)
Akers (30% snaps) averaged 4.6 yards per carry. I thought this was a second solid week in a row for Akers. He has been limited to exclusively working in run situations.
Kyren Williams (70%) continues to be the best part of the Rams roster right now. KW ran 11 times for 35 yards, which does not jump off the page. But he also caught three receptions (three targets) for 25 yards. His pass protection was outstanding. This was a great pick by LA and is the type of player that compliments Stafford and Kupp.
Rookie-on-rookie crime as Rams RB Kyren Williams does a phenomenal job picking up Chiefs second-round pick Bryan Cook on the blitz. He punishes him for jumping too.— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) November 27, 2022
The fifth-round picks knack for pass protection at Notre Dame has translated to the NFL level. pic.twitter.com/3R8446dk7Q
Once again, I will emphasize from previous weeks that Williams is unlikely to carry the ball 20-25 times as a bell-cow. But he is a playmaker on the field for Los Angeles.
A dream signing this offseason would be the Rams signing Tony Pollard. A lead back of Pollard with backups in Williams and Akers would clean up the run game woes that have plagued LA since Todd Gurley’s prime.
Week 12 Grade: C+, Season Grade: C, Trend: Very Slight Upward
Cooper Kupp: 86.3 (IR), Allen Robinson II: 65.8 (INA), Van Jefferson: 60.4 (+2.0), Tutu Atwell: 83.7 (-1.4), Bennett Skowronek: 52.6 (+0.0), Brandon Powell: 65.8 (+1.4), Lance McCutcheon: 47.8 (-6.6), Jacob Harris: 73.7 (+14.6)
The wideouts did about as much as they could with the limitations of Bryce Perkins. No WR caught more than three passes or accrued 30 or more yards. Van Jefferson (87% snaps) caught the Rams only touchdown on a slant in the red zone.
van jefferson’s second td in three weeks! pic.twitter.com/V3nFQQOAcf— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) November 27, 2022
Jefferson was not without fault in Sunday’s loss, as he failed to make a catchable sideline grab.
Tutu Atwell (52%) continues to grade out very well on PFF. He was the fifth-highest graded Ram against the Chiefs. He caught two passes (first multi-catch game in career), with one of them helping the offense convert a 4th down scenario.
With the news of Allen Robinson’s foot stress fracture, LA will get a chance to evaluate Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Lance McCutcheon, Ben Skowronek, Brandon Powell, and Jacob Harris. I personally would like to see Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, and Jacob Harris getting the majority of snaps with Ben Skowronek and Jacob Harris filling in as reserves. Why? It is clear that Ben Skowronek is better suited in a FB/WR hybrid role. He is not a wideout that can line up across a DB and win one on one for 50%+ of the snaps. Brandon Powell is a free agent next year, so spending the majority of focus on Atwell, Jefferson, and Harris seems more logical. Besides, Harris ran a pretty good route on his special team's fake.
Week 12 Grade: C-, Season Grade: C-, Trend: Neutral
Tyler Higbee: 58.0 (-1.2), Brycen Hopkins: 52.0 (+3.5), Kendall Blanton: 70.1 (PS)
Tyler Higbee came into the game with an injury (knee) but was made active. The Rams used him as a pass blocker on the majority of passing attempts. Higbee had zero catches.
Tyler Higbee did not record a target despite playing 59% of the snaps in Week 12.— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) November 29, 2022
He ran a route on just 38% of dropbacks. Absolutely horrific.
Drop him across all formats.
It’s hard to envision the Rams continuing to pay $7-8 million a year to a tight end that does not catch passes on a weekly basis.
Bryce Hopkins caught one pass (two targets) for 12 yards. I think Hopkins will enter next year as the team’s number one option despite little experience.
Week 12 Grade: F, Season Grade: D-, Trend: Moderate Downward
Ty Nsekhe: 65.1 (INA), David Edwards: 58.2 (IR), Brian Allen: 64.5 (INA), Coleman Shelton: 53.4 (+1.9), Rob Havenstein: 72.6 (+3.5), Bobby Evans: 29.8 (DNP), Oday Aboushi: 62.8 (+6.8), Matt Skura: 46.4 (-3.9), AJ Arcuri: 48.4, Jeremiah Kolone: 36.1 (DNP), Joe Noteboom: 67.0 (IR), Tremayne Anchrum: 60.0 (IR), Alaric Jackson: 64.1 (IR), Chandler Brewer: 70.8 (IR)
The 11th starting offensive line combination’s performance was about the same as the preceding ones. Not good. Havenstein did post a 90.9 run blocking grade and was the Rams highest graded player for the game (86.3). The Rams run game has been improving over the last three weeks, but still lacks consistency on the left side. Shelton was okay, but not spectacular as the center. Arcuri and Skura were the weak points and the reason the Rams allowed so much pressure. Arcuri allowed five pressures and Skura allowed two. The positive takeaways are that Rob Havenstein is cemented as the right tackle for LA moving forward. Oday Aboushi has provided enough evidence that he can be on the Rams roster, but likely in a reserve capacity.
Looking at NFL team differences in pass blocking when in True Pass Sets (TPS). True Pass Sets are pass snaps that do not have the benefit of play action, roll outs, or screens. These are extremely prevalent when trailing late. pic.twitter.com/5P390Bz0jf— Quinten Krzysko (@ButkusStats) November 28, 2022
I believe left tackle, left guard, and center should all be reevaluated and addressed this offseason. The Rams do not have the cap space and resources to completely overhaul the line. They may need to rely on the progression of Logan Bruss, Alaric Jackson, Chandler Brewer and Coleman Shelton. David Edwards, Ty Nsekhe, and Bobby Evans will be free agents and it is unlikely the Rams keep Nsekhe and Evans. Edwards return will be dependent on how the market views him after missing the majority of this year.
While the Rams just gave money to Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen, they may reconsider their futures because of significant injury histories. Noteboom will have undergone two season ending injuries in a five-year span. Brian Allen has only played in 29 games in his five-year career and has dealt with repetitive injuries to his knees and thumb.
Week 12 Grade: D, Season Grade: D-, Trend: Neutral
HC (Sean McVay)
Sean McVay admitted before the game that this year has unlike anything he has ever experienced in coaching. The positive for the head coach is that he is still convincing his depleted roster to compete every week.
There are still a few changes that need to take place. Notable changes are David Long Jr., Derion Kendrick, and Taylor Rapp being benched. Developing Cobie Durant, Russ Yeast, and Quentin Lake are smarter moves for the organization long term.
The Rams have six games left and it seems like they can’t end quick enough...
Week 12 Grade: C-, Season Grade: C-, Trend: Moderate Upward
Stay tuned within the next 24 hours for the defensive PFF grades from Week 12 for the Los Angeles Rams roster overview!
Should the Rams attempt to sign Tony Pollard this offseason?
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