The Los Angeles Rams’ special teams unit has been stellar through the first seven games of the season. Let’s dive deep into the numbers and play of this group.
All-Pro Johnny Hekker is continuing to showcase why he’s one of the best at the punter position averaging a net avg. of 45.5 yards for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. On 25 punts, he’s pinned 14 of them inside the 20, with only one touchback, which are pretty solid numbers. His level of production has put the defense in a great position to force the opponent to adjust their play calling and hold them in their territory.
A bit of a surprise has been the play of kicker Greg Zeurlein, as his performance has been nothing short of spectacular by nailing 21 out of 22 kicks so far. The numbers are much more exciting when you dig deeper. According to ESPN.com, he’s been proficient in every interval (every 10 yards) especially from 40 yards out. Two statistics that jump out are he’s 7 of 7 from 40+ yards and 3 of 3 from 50+ yards out. These stats will be very advantageous to the Rams playoff run when the games are called tighter. Zeurlein is proving that he’s a very consistent, reliable player that the team can count on.
Last, but definitely not least, is wide receiver, Pharoh Cooper, who has played exceptional in providing great, field position for the Rams’ offense to start drives. In a couple of games this season, he’s put the league on notice that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he returned a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, which is the longest kickoff return in the NFL this season.
Overall, John Fassel and the entire Rams coaching staff are doing a great job building this unit. With steady play from Hekker, Zuerlein, and now Cooper, Los Angeles is dangerous in all three phases of the game.