The 2022 Los Angeles Rams season featured a lot of changing parts. Franchise cornerstone Andrew Whitworth retired after the Super Bowl. 2021 mid-season trade acquisition, Von Miller, went east and joined the Buffalo Bills. Robert Woods was traded to the Tennessee Titans. And Odell Beckham Jr went unsigned as he recovered from an ACL tear. From Week 1, the Rams started losing starters to injuries. This forced new names into more prominent roles.
In continuing the countdown list of the 2022 Los Angeles Rams top 15 individual performers, let’s take a quick look first at the current list.
For the next individual on the list, I stayed on the offensive side of the ball and the same position group…
#14 - Tutu Atwell, WR
While the numbers may be less than that of Van Jefferson’s, Tutu’s impact when on the field was significantly greater than Van’s. His inclusion on the list will vary from person to person, however, there was consensus from Sean McVay and fans that Atwell should have been a part of the offense’s game plan much earlier in the season. Sean McVay admitted the playing time mistake after the home game against Seattle...
“This year [Tutu Atwell] probably should have gotten more opportunities earlier on in the season and that’s something that I won’t run away from because all this guy has done is answer the bell when he is had his chances.” - Sean McVay following Week 13 loss vs. Seahawks
Through the air, Tutu Atwell caught 18 passes for 298 yards, one receiving touchdown. On the ground, Atwell carried nine jet sweeps for 34 yards, and one rushing touchdown. But what is not included in his stat sheet, are the plays in which he drew multiple defensive pass interference calls, flipping field position multiple times for a struggling LA offense.
Tutu Atwell's first NFL catch gains 58 yards against Trevon Diggspic.twitter.com/3a9nwI18fW— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) October 9, 2022
Similar to Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell did not get a chance to build a strong rapport with Matthew Stafford after the New Orleans game. But despite playing with three different quarterbacks, Atwell was clearly a spark plug and one of the more effective players during the final half of the season.
Atwell’s best games came in back-to-back weeks. The first was at home against the Seattle Seahawks. He had a single-game career high of 71 total yards. In Week 14 versus the Las Vegas Raiders, he had a career high in receptions (five) and targets (nine) with 50 receiving yards.
Atwell finished the season with a 70.9 PFF grade. He was the third highest graded player on the Rams offense.
2023 will carry a lot of expectations for Atwell. I have always said that three years will be a true test of whether Atwell earns or sheds the “bust label” for his second round draft status. However, the Rams coaching staff needs to show a commitment to his skill set. There is no question that the Louisville product can play, but he needs to have his number called more often. I believe an efficient range of touches for Tutu is at least 5-10 per game in order to keep a defense having to defend horizontally, vertically, and from keying in/double teaming Cooper Kupp.
Who was better in 2022: Van Jefferson or Tutu Atwell?
This poll is closed
Van Jefferson, WR
Tutu Atwell, WR