Shortly after the Los Angeles Rams won Super Bowl LVI, Kevin O’Connell left LA for the Minnesota Vikings head coaching job. Liam Coen was then tabbed as the Rams new offensive coordinator. Through eight regular season games, LA’s offense is the worst it has ever been in the Sean McVay era. In live time, it is no secret that the product the Rams are rolling out each week is below expectation. Pro Football Focus (PFF) agrees, as the offense players are consistently grading lower than last year.
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.
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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: 62.8 (-2.3), John Wolford: DNP, Bryce Perkins: DNP
We have seen Sean McVay’s conservatism in play calling this year, but we have not necessarily discussed that Matthew Stafford is doing the same. We all know that Stafford wants to throw the ball downfield, but ever since the interior line was placed on injured reserve, Stafford has “canned” multiple plays at the line of scrimmage to either a WR smoke screen or an interior run play. When a drive is derailed by a 1st down missed execution or penalty, we don’t see Stafford trying to push the ball downfield to make up for the lost yardage. Look no further than his EPA when the Rams are in second, third, and fourth down.
Highest/Lowest EPA per dropback averages on 2nd, 3rd and 4th downs of 7+ yards:— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) November 8, 2022
1. Patrick Mahomes (.47)
2. Josh Allen (.33)
3. Tua Tagovailoa (.30)
32. Mac Jones (-.32)
33. Matthew Stafford (-.36)
34. Kirk Cousins (-.40)
I understand that the offensive line, Bobby Evans, is making life extremely difficult, but at this point, what difference does it make? At least try and pick up a first down. Don’t just wave the white flag when one thing goes wrong on a drive.
Week 9 Grade: C-, Season Grade: D+, Trend: Neutral
Cam Akers: 57.8 (-1.2), Darrell Henderson: 58.2 (+1.4), Kyren Williams: INA, Malcolm Brown: 55.4 (+1.6), Ronnie Rivers: 64.5 (DNP)
I thought McVay’s biggest mistake against Tampa Bay was not giving Darrell Henderson enough carries. He received 12 carries and collected 56 yards (4.7 yards/carry). His longest run was 23 yards. Even though he only averaged 3 yards on his other 11 carries, Henderson showed good vision on cutbacks and didn’t go down without a fight.
#Rams coach Sean McVay said it's a "possibility" he gives RB Darrell Henderson more carries moving forward to find a rhythm on the ground. Henderson's season high for carries came in Week 1 with 13. "I thought he did some good things yesterday."— Gilbert Manzano (@GManzano24) November 7, 2022
Cam Akers played but was inefficient with five carries totaling three yards. The Cam Akers from 2020 seems to be long forgotten...
Cam Akers, 2.8 ypc— Chuck Harris (@chuckh3) November 7, 2022
Malcolm Brown, 2.4 ypc
Darrell Henderson, 4.1 ypc
As a team, they cannot run the ball. 31st in attempts, 31st in yards, 31st in average. Their RB's stink, which is why they were trying to acquire one before the trade deadline.
Week 9 Grade: C, Season Grade: D+, Trend: Very Slight Upward
Cooper Kupp: 88.3 (+0.0), Allen Robinson II: 63.6 (+1.4), Van Jefferson: 44.0 (-6.3), Tutu Atwell: 67.8 (INA), Bennett Skowronek: 55.4 (-0.4), Brandon Powell: 69.7 (-1.0), Lance McCutcheon: 59.3 (DNP)
Outside of three catches (five targets) by Allen Robinson, Cooper Kupp was the only wide receiver to make an impact. Kupp carried the offense with eight receptions, 127 yards, and one touchdown.
Kupp has the highest catch rate (77.4%) of any receiver with over 50 targets, and accounts for 39.4% of the Rams' targeted air yards. The next-highest #Rams receiver is Allen Robinson, at 21%.— The Playbook (@genius_playbook) November 8, 2022
In terms of production, he is carrying this offense.@NextGenStats | #RamsHouse pic.twitter.com/dOM226fT8i
Allen Robinson had a spectacular contested-diving catch for a first down but was not able to make a larger impact beyond that play.
Ridiculous throw and catch from Matthew Stafford to Allen Robinson— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) November 6, 2022
Van Jefferson (35% snap share) was targeted five times but did not secure any passes. Jefferson had an ugly drop in the first quarter that would have easily gone for 20+ yards.
Skowronek (65% snap share) did not have any catches on two targets.
Week 9 Grade: C+, Season Grade: C+, Trend: Neutral
Tyler Higbee: 57.8 (-2.0), Brycen Hopkins: 52.3 (-1.4), Kendall Blanton: 70.1 (INA)
Tyler Higbee’s production on a week-to-week basis makes him the biggest boom or bust offensive player. I’m not sure why he is not being used more frequently in the middle of the field with Cooper Kupp. Kupp and Higbee were at their best at the end of 2021 when they were in stacked formations and running off each other’s route tree.
Week 9 Grade: F, Season Grade: D, Trend: Slight Downward
Joe Noteboom: 67.0 (IR), David Edwards: 58.2 (IR), Brian Allen: 66.6 (-3.4), Coleman Shelton: 49.9 (IR), Rob Havenstein: 68.3 (-0.7), Alaric Jackson: 64.1 (+0.3), Tremayne Anchrum: 60.0 (IR), Bobby Evans: 33.3 (-4.0), Jeremiah Kolone: 36.1 (INA), Oday Aboushi: 56.6 (DNP), Ty Nsekhe: 55.0, Chandler Brewer: 70.8
Bobby Evans cannot play another snap for the Los Angeles Rams. Evans only positive performance in a Rams uniform has been at right tackle in 2019 when Havenstein was injured. In 2020, Evans struggled at left guard in the division round against Green Bay. Two years later, Evans might be worse than his rookie and sophomore campaigns. Evans just does not know his assignments as he let Vita Vea get up field multiple times without laying a hand on him.
Bobby Evans blocked Vita Vea for an astounding .2 seconds before deciding he’d block the air instead pic.twitter.com/ezEfzoDr1S— Dylan Richardson (@DylanRchrdsn) November 8, 2022
Jackson, Allen, and Havenstein are playing okay, but I think their respective potentials are weighed down by the poor guard play.
Chandler Brewer was a surprise starter in place of Oday Aboushi. PFF graded Brewer as one of the top offensive players for Los Angeles. I’ll be interested to see if McVay keeps him at right guard when Coleman Shelton returns or if they will experiment with Shelton at left guard. The experiment won’t last long as David Edwards is set to return from a concussion in Week 11.
Chandler Brewer was the Rams' highest graded offensive linemen in the preseason in pass pro via PFF...third-highest overall.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) November 6, 2022
Week 9 Grade: F, Season Grade: F, Trend: Moderate Downward
HC (Sean McVay)
It’s been a long and hard season for Sean McVay. My condolences to him and his family for the news of his grandfather.
The LA Rams are the reflection of their record. Sean McVay’s offense lacks assertiveness and creativity. The result is the league’s 29th scoring offense at 16.4 points per game. After winning the Super Bowl, it was obvious that the league’s defenses would look to cap explosive passing plays. McVay failed to find an offseason blueprint to counter defensive coordinators.
I understand that in an ideal world, McVay would want to run the offense predominantly in shotgun and four-wide. But at some point, you need to have another card in your back pocket. This is where I question Liam Coen’s role for the offense? You have to believe that his job security is at risk at the end of the season. Coen was vocal in the offseason about involving Allen Robinson, incorporating Tutu Atwell, and positively influencing the run game. None of those factors have happened in 2022 and the Rams have nine games left.
We need more clarity with the offense…— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) November 7, 2022
What is Liam Coen’s role?
Who’s making second half adjustments?
Who manages the RB rotation?
Why is Bobby Evans starting at LG?
Need some answers…
Hi @kdemoff— Hector Diaz (@hdiaz2686) November 8, 2022
Wondering if these Coaches still have a job with the @RamsNFL?
Liam Coen- Offensive Coordinator
Raheem Morris- Defensive Coordinator
Kevin Carberry- Offensive Line Coach
Asking for a friend lol #RamsHouse
The other problem staring McVay in the face is the lack of player development in his draft picks from 2019-2022. The list includes:
- Taylor Rapp (2nd round)
- David Long Jr (3rd round)
- Darrell Henderson (3rd round)
- Bobby Evans (3rd round)
- Cam Akers (2nd round)
- Van Jefferson (2nd round)
- Terrell Lewis (3rd round)
- Terrell Burgess (3rd round)
- Brycen Hopkins (4th round)
- Tutu Atwell (2nd round)
- Bobby Brown III (4th round)
- Jacob Harris (4th round)
For perspective, the Rams found key contributors and stars in 2017 with Cooper Kupp (3rd round), John Johnson (3rd round), and Josh Reynolds (4th round). All three players played constantly in their respective tenures.
Week 9 Grade: F, Season Grade: D+, Trend: Slight-to-Moderate Downward
Stay tuned within the next 24 hours for the defensive PFF grades from Week 6 for the Los Angeles Rams roster overview!