Football Outsiders has released their annual Adjusted Games Lost numbers for the 2022 season. To nobody’s surprise, the Rams finished among the top of the league in this category. The adjusted games lost metric, “estimates the impact of injuries on teams and provides a comparable total that often succinctly explains why teams improved or declined from one year to the next.”
In 2022, the Rams finished 31st in adjusted games lost with an AGL of 146.6. This ranked just ahead of the Denver Broncos at 148.6. While the Rams weren’t technically the most injury affected team in 2022, they did set an adjusted games lost record. With all of the injuries on the offensive line, the Rams for most offensive line adjusted games lost in a single season. The Rams had 71 adjusted games lost on the offensive line in 2022, besting the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020 with an adjusted games lost of 57.
To say the 2022 Rams were a statistical outlier would be an understatement. The Rams had an AGL of almost 14 more games that the next closest team since the 2001 season. It’s worth noting that the 2020 Eagles went 4-11-1, the 2016 Minnesota Vikings went 8-8, Last year’s New York Jets had a 7-10 record , the 2014 San Diego Chargers went 9-7, the the 2014 Atlanta Falcons finished 6-10.
Football Outsiders noted that there were more offensive line AGL leaguewide in 2022 than in any other season that they’ve measured. In 2021, no team had more than 40 AGL at offensive line. Last year, five different teams had at least 40 AGL on the offensive line.
Here’s what Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz had to say about the Rams offensive line injuries last season,
“The offensive line collapse was a huge part of the overall collapse of the Rams in 2022. The Rams were already trying to get over the retirement of left tackle Andrew Whitworth, the anchor of their Super Bowl championship line from the year before. His replacement, Joe Noteboom (11.3), missed half the year with a torn Achilles. Noteboom’s replacement, Alaric Jackson (9.0), missed the second half of the season due to blood clot problems. But the left tackle issue was nothing compared to the complications at center and right guard. In the preseason, there was a camp battle at right guard between Logan Bruss (12.0) and Coleman Shelton (4.0)—until Bruss tore his ACL. That made Shelton the Week 1 starter. Then center Brian Allen (11.1) had a knee injury in Week 1. Shelton slid over to center, which would have made Bruss the new starter at right guard, except Bruss was hurt. So instead, we go to RG3, Tremayne Anchrum (11.0). That didn’t last long, because Anchrum broke his fibula in Week 3. Meanwhile, Shelton, now playing center, hurt his ankle and missed four games. So even when Allen came back, Bruss would have been playing, and if not Bruss, Anchrum would have been playing, so they both count for those weeks in AGL. And then Allen went out again, missing two games with a thumb injury and three with a calf injury. Eventually, the Rams ended up with Chandler Brewer (2.0) playing right guard, except he hurt his knee too. We haven’t even mentioned left guard David Edwards (10.0), who missed much of the season with concussion issues. It was a colossal mess.”
“It was a colossal mess,” describes the Rams’ situation on the offensive line almost perfectly. Even if the Rams do bring back oft-injured players like Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen in 2023, it would be very hard for the offensive line as a group to replicate its injury luck next season.
At other position groups, the Rams had an adjusted games lost of 23.9 at wide receiver with the Cooper Kupp injury which ranked 29th in the NFL. The Rams also ranked tied for 30th on the defensive line with an AGL of 16.6. Matthew Stafford’s injury cost the Rams 10.9 adjusted games lost, ranking 30th.
The Rams were actually one of the healthier teams at edge rusher where they had an AGL of 0.6 which ranked second. It was one of the healthier position groups for the Rams along with linebacker where the Rams finished seventh in AGL. The Rams were one of five teams credited with 0 games lost at running back.
A healthier season should result in a better 2023. However, after cutting Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner while also trading Jalen Ramsey, that may not be the case.