Nov 10, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Chris Givens (13) runs after making a catch during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Was Chris Givens' 2012 Season A Fluke

If it’s one player in 2012 that showed the most promise coming into the 2013 season it was Chris Givens. Unfortunately Chris Givens has been disappointing in 2013 and will need a statement season next year if he wants to continue to be the Rams number one guy.

Last season the Rams drafted Chris Givens with the first pick in the fourth round, not expecting him to emerge like he did. Givens surprised many catching 42 passes for 698 yards and three touchdowns and was the Rams big playmaker on offense having at one point a stretch of five games where he had at least one reception of 50 or more yards.

This season has been a different story for Givens. Part of it may be that Bradford has been out and part of it may be that he is being used differently. Either way Givens has been less effective and fans are wondering where in the world is Chris Givens.

So far this year Givens has 30 receptions for only 493 yards and has yet to score a single touchdown. Givens has not been the same deep threat he was last year either as he has only one reception of over 40 yards and not a single reception of 50 yards or more. In the preseason Givens had two receptions of over 50 yards.

Along with that Givens has six passes that qualified as drops and has a catch percentage of only 44.1%. We don’t usually see sophomore slumps among receivers, but it certainly seems as if this is the case with Givens.

If Givens continues at his current pace he will end up with 657 yards at seasons end which is obviously just short of his 698 yard mark that he met last season. It was predicted by many that Givens could receive for over 1,000 yards in 2013. He has the potential to do so, but like every player in St. Louis he needs to play more consistent.

For receivers, sophomore slumps don’t usually happen, but with Givens we can all hope that is the case. Normally receiver find their way in the league in their first season, then flourish in their second, for Givens he may just be waiting for year number three.

With all of that aside last season was not a fluke for Chris Givens. Givens can and will be a good wide receiver in this league. Chris Givens’ game is revolved around his speed, that’s how he creates plays.

The Rams have not utilized his speed this season by not taking as many shots down the field to him or giving him as many screen plays. The play calling certainly hasn’t helped Givens along with the fact the quarterback with the big arm has been out for the majority of the season. Kellen Clemens doesn’t have the arm strength to go down the field to Givens.

Givens may just be a victim of bad luck and getting over the learning curve. Teams have film on him now and know how to adjust to his speed, now Givens just needs to adjust his game to the defenses.

Givens can still be the number one guy for the Rams, but he will definitely need a big year in 2014 if he wants to continue that position in the future. He just needs to cut down on the drops and play consistent and he can still be our guy.

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  • Gary Stewart

    hey blaine please explain to me why the rams cant run more double stacks and rub routes for givens and tavon?? what i mean is they try these rub and stack routes with either one and the other is one of the bigger types like quick and pettis, i feel that if they stack givens behind tavon and then stack tavon behind givens the defense would be forced to play man and the rams could shift back and forth then suddenly they dont stack and instead run rub routes which pressures the d even further. so you say they could better defend the deep ball with zone my contention is if tavon and givens one or the other cant find a crease in the zone then we have the wrong g uys i dont believe that i simply think we have a philosophical problem, and as for the arm of clemens it simply means he just has to throw it before they are open and risk them not getting open but the chances are its an overthrow in that case and simply an incomplete id appreciate your thoughts on these subjects

    • Blaine Grisak

      You may want to ask Brian Schottenheimer that question haha, I haven’t necessarily like what either coordinator has done this year, I feel the offense had a chance to really break out this year, and even with Bradford the offense felt like it was being held back for some reason, then with Bradford out that limited it even more. I also feel like our defense took a step back and played better without a coordinator last season those are just my thoughts.

      But I completely agree with you, the Rams need to change up the formation and create those sort of mismatches, why they haven’t taken advantage of these weapons I have no idea.

      As for the zone thing, it helps if our receivers catch the ball, but receivers may just not be seeing the defense right and making the right reads, I don’t know, but I think our receivers have taken a step back, but they do have a lot of potential. If Im Les Snead I take Hopkins or Lee in the draft, the Rams need a receiver that can take over games, and although Austin shows potential of that, we need a guy on the outside.

      • Gary Stewart

        we have 4 weeks to decide b4 free agency then the draft i say try out the weapons without fear of failure and find out where we stand. what you are telling me is you have given up on brian quick? i have not, i do however believe that if we use tavon and givens in different types of stack/rub style looks quick/pettis get better looks instead of asking the big guys to break open the door for the little guys why not have the little guys open the door for the big guys

        • Blaine Grisak

          No I haven’t necessarily given up on Brian Quick, Im just saying we could have had Alshon Jeffrey. Next year is a big year for Quick, if he shows no improvement, he’s done in my book.

          What your saying about the stack/rub makes complete sense, and I think it could work

      • Gary Stewart

        i assume you are speaking of marquise lee his injury history scares me if hopkins doesnt have quite the skill set id have to skip him as well maybe mike evans of a&m might slip to us in the teens or we could be trading down and get him in the 20s although i cant see him slipping that far. ball control and defense are keys to me but i am not the gm so we will see GO RAMS!!