The Los Angeles Rams fell 24-12 to the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. The Rams offense only generated 156 total yards and barely showed signs of life in the Lambeau cold. After an exciting win last week in limited time with Baker Mayfield, there was hope the Rams could build on their progress. Much like the rest of the year, the Rams could not overcome self-inflicted mistakes. Is Sean McVay’s play calling the main problem?
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 15 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 (IR), Baker Mayfield: 51.2 (-2.5), John Wolford: 40.0 (INA), Bryce Perkins: 59.9 (DNP)
Mayfield was 12/21 for 111 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Unlike last week, the Rams were unable to create explosive plays downfield. Mayfield was pressured early and often by the Green Bay defensive line. When he did have time to throw, his timing with wide receivers appeared off. Instead of throwing the ball away, Mayfield was forced to take multiple sacks.
Week 15 Grade: F, Season Grade: D, Trend: Moderate Downward
Cam Akers: 70.9 (+5.9), Kyren Williams: 66.7 (+0.2), Malcolm Brown: 55.0 (-0.6), Ronnie Rivers: 64.5 (PS)
Cam Akers was the best offensive player on the field for Los Angeles in Week 15. Akers carried 12 times for 65 yards and caught three passes for 35 yards. The 65 rushing yards is a season-high for 2022. On the year, Akers has 125 carries for 441 yards and four touchdowns. While Akers has managed to come out of the doghouse, one piece that still needs fixing is Sean McVay must commit to running the ball with a lead back more than 12 times. Sean McVay must revamp the run game so that the offense is balanced again like in the days of Goff/Gurley.
Week 15 Grade: B, Season Grade: C+, Trend: Very Slight Upward
Van Jefferson: 64.0 (+0.4), Tutu Atwell: 78.7 (-6.3), Bennett Skowronek: 57.2 (-0.1), Brandon Powell: 72.7 (-0.3), Lance McCutcheon: 47.7 (-0.1), Austin Trammell: 64.9 (-4.9), Cooper Kupp: 86.3 (IR), Allen Robinson II: 65.8 (IR), Jacob Harris: 73.7 (IR)
The wide receivers only caught a total of five passes from Baker Mayfield. Jefferson (2), Atwell (1), Powell (1), and Skowronek (1) all appeared out of sync and rhythm with the recently acquired quarterback. Tutu Atwell had a bad drop across the middle of the field, but he did draw a 40+ yard DPI call.
If there was anything to get excited about, it was Van Jefferson converting on two 3rd & long situations.
Skowronek left the game with a calf strain and was just recently played on IR, ending his season.
Week 15 Grade: D, Season Grade: B-, Trend: Slight Downward
Tyler Higbee: 58.9 (+0.8), Brycen Hopkins: 53.1 (-0.3)
Higbee finally made it into the endzone in 2022! Mayfield found Higbee on 3rd & Goal from eight yards out, giving the Rams their only touchdown of the game. Higbee had four receptions for 27 yards.
Week 15 Grade: C+, Season Grade: D, Trend: Slight Upward
Ty Nsekhe: 72.3 (+2.9), Matt Skura: 52.5 (-0.2), Brian Allen: 63.8 (-1.1), Coleman Shelton: 55.4 (-2.8), Rob Havenstein: 70.7 (-0.2), Oday Aboushi: 66.4 (+3.6), Bobby Evans: 29.8 (INA), AJ Arcuri: 48.4, Jeremiah Kolone: 36.1 (PS), Joe Noteboom: 67.0 (IR), Tremayne Anchrum: 60.0 (IR), Alaric Jackson: 64.1 (IR), Chandler Brewer: 70.8 (IR), David Edwards: 58.2 (IR)
Brian Allen was lost on LA’s second play of their first series due to a calf strain. He recently was placed on IR ending his season. His future with the team becomes a hot topic debate since he has missed over 30 games in his 4+ year career because of injuries.
Outside of Ty Nsekhe, the entire offensive line struggled in pass protection, giving up five sacks. There were positive run blocking performances from Aboushi (75.3) and Nsekhe (75.7).
The Rams need to invest in three offensive line positions for 2023 (left tackle, left guard, and center). Right guard and right tackle figure to be Logan Bruss and Rob Havenstein. Sean McVay’s persistence to use undersized offensive linemen has backfired and has exposed the Rams run blocking and pass protection. Not to mention it has led to a lot of injuries this year.
I think we should revamp that entire offensive line. Let go of some people. The Chiefs did it. So, the Rams should, too. I don’t care about the cap. What’s more important: our cap room or our QB’s health?— andspam (@andresr_23c) December 20, 2022
Week 15 Grade: D-, Season Grade: D-, Trend: Moderate Downward
HC (Sean McVay)
Sean McVay should be humbled by the 2022 season. McVay ascended in the NFL head coaching ranks at a rapid pace, but the meteoric crash of ‘22 came even quicker. The Los Angeles Rams lost in 2022 not because of a lack of talent or bad luck, but because of a failure to adapt to the landscape around them. Defensive coordinators around the league were hyper-focused on shutting down the genius head coach and his explosive passing scheme. McVay needs to reinvent his style of offensive game planning and calling. With defenses taking away explosive pass plays, finding pieces to a strong running game must be accomplished this offseason.
Week 15 Grade: D-, Season Grade: C, Trend: Moderate Downward
Stay tuned within the next 24 hours for the defensive PFF grades from Week 15 for the Los Angeles Rams roster overview!
Will Sean McVay successfully revamp the offense in 2023?
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