Do not hate on being average. Don’t take offense to being called average. In the NFC, average will get you into the playoffs and for an L.A. Rams team that was 5-12 last season before stripping down the roster to only its most necessary parts with a recent Offensive Player of the Year on the way back...”average” means that the Rams have been great.
At least, relative to their expectations, their draft capital investment, and their payroll.
By adjusted net yards per pass attempt on offense and defense, the Los Angeles Rams have been the team closest to AVERAGE in the NFL through four games. The 2-2 Rams (see: .500 average) rank 16th overall when combining both measurements (average), 16th on offense (average), and 16th on defense (average).
NFL ANY/A Value after Week 4 SNF.— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) October 2, 2023
Overrated: Eagles? pic.twitter.com/iKbGYzkCbV
By passing and stopping the pass, arguably the most important thing teams do in football these days, the Rams are by far (or by average) the most average team in the NFL through four games.
They have scored 98 points and allowed 85 points, putting L.A. right around the average of both categories.
Hell, I think you could even argue that Mike LaFleur and Raheem Morris would be on the respective posters for average offensive and defensive coordinators this season. Which is a lot better than being on a poster with Vance Joseph or Luke Getsy, right?
A lot of people thought that the Rams could be 0-4 or 1-3 based on how the offseason went and would be considering their trade deadline options to keep going further below the average. Instead, L.A. is 2-2 and rank 12th in points scored. (Yes, they’re just a few points away from dropping down to 16th.)
I don’t see average as an insult, I see it as a ticket. As an opportunity to be better than average as the season continues. With the return of Kupp, further development of young players like Byron Young, Kobie Turner, Tutu Atwell, Kyren Williams, Russ Yeast, and any of the cornerbacks, the Rams may no longer be average. They could even be...good.
That’s no small accomplishment for a team that only has two former first round picks on the entire roster, with over $70 million in dead money on the salary cap, and an extraordinary percentage of the rest going to just three players—Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Kupp—forcing Les Snead and his team to look for bargain replacements like Ahkello Witherspoon, who has been much better than average thus far.
Right now, the L.A. Rams have fit squarely in the middle. That’s not at all bad.
For some teams, average would be concerning. For the 2023 Rams, it’s great.