The Los Angeles Rams are in 11 personnel on 93.5% of their offensive plays, which is the highest rate of any team, of any kind of offense, in the entire NFL. The next-closest team is the Carolina Panthers at 86.6%, followed by the Washington Commanders at 80%, meaning 29 of 32 teams aren’t even above 80%, let alone 90%.
When Matthew Stafford comes into the game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, guess what personnel the Rams are going to be in. That’s right: One running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers. Don’t expect any surprises, not even after trading Van Jefferson this week.
According to sumersports.com, the Rams have run 330 of their 353 plays out of 11 and rank sixth in the NFL in EPA per play on those plays. The other 6.5% of L.A.’s plays have come out of 12 personnel (switch out a receiver for a tight end) and the Rams are only 26th in EPA/play out of 12.
The league average usage of 11 personnel is 61.5%, putting the predictable L.A. Rams way over of the mark.
The Rams—who rank 15th in points, ninth in points per drive, 12th in net yards per pass attempt, and 23rd in yards per carry—have made a few personnel changes this season but it is clearly reflected in the snap count that Sean McVay won’t stray out of 11. Kyren Williams has played in 81.92% of the snap, but a much higher count since the team traded Cam Akers after Week 1. Backup Ronnie Rivers has played in just 36 snaps all year.
Tylre Higbee has played in 92.66% of the snaps but backup Brycen Hopkins has only seen 47 snaps on the season.
Cooper Kupp played in 53 snaps in his debut, rarely leaving the field, and he has essentially taken away Jefferson’s snaps, leading to his trade. The Rams don’t spread four wide, they don’t play out of 12 or 21 (two running backs), they just come out in 11 personnel. Play after play after play.
According to sumersports, the Rams are in 11 personnel on 92.2% of early downs, also first in the NFL, but their EPA/play drops to 12th in the league in those situations.
By comparison, the Miami Dolphins, easily the most explosive, innovative, interesting, and effective offense in the NFL, average 0.36 EPA/play out of 11 personnel and 0.29 EPA/play out of 12 personnel, with head coach Mike McDaniel splitting the offense basically right down the middle between those two: 45% each. The 0.36 is the highest EPA for any formation by any team in the league, followed by the 49ers at 0.35 out of 11.
Miami is averaging 0.44 EPA per pass attempt out of 21 personnel and 0.34 per pass attempt out of 11 personnel. The 49ers are averaging an NFL-best 0.57 EPA/pass attempt out of 11 personnel and they run it 38.2% of the time, less than half as often as McVay.
The Rams are averaging 0.07 EPA per play, 0.1 EPA/pass and 0.02/run out of 11 personnel. I wasn’t able to split these numbers by half, but I would think that the second half numbers are even less favorable given how few points and sustained drives that the L.A. Rams have had after halftime.
How much will L.A.’s offense improve by replacing Jefferson’s snaps with Kupp? Logically, the answer has to be “some”, right? Cooper Kupp is a much better receiver than Van Jefferson. However, how much more explosive, creative, and unpredictable will the Rams offense be in the future?
Hopefully less predictable and more explosive than it’s been so far.