Rams regular season wide receiver review

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

On wildcard Saturday, why don’t we take a look at some of the numbers from this season as we prepare for the first Los Angeles Rams playoff home game since 2004?

The Los Angeles Rams went into the last offseason knowing that wide receiver was a huge need. It had been a need for five years, never having the guy or guys they needed to have an effective passing game.

Enter Sean McVay.

One of the early offseason moves saw the Rams bring in WR Robert Woods from the Bills. The former USC product had been a reliable possession reliever throughout his career but had never amassed more than 700 yards or five TDS.

With the Rams, he quickly became a favorite receiver for Jared Goff and a character leader for this offense. Even missing four games with a shoulder injury, Woods had the best statistical season of his career, with 56 receptions on 85 targets, with 781 yards and five TDs.  Also worth noting, Woods is the oldest of the starting group of receivers at 25.

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Also joining the team in the offseason was WR Cooper Kupp, drafted in the third round out of Eastern Washington.

Kupp came to the Rams with some hype from his college success and maturity, but also some questions about whether he could get open in the NFL. The result? Kupp led the team in targets (94) and yards (869), a success partly helped by the late season injury to Woods.  Kupp’s role as the slot receiver has allowed for some big plays in the middle of the field.  (Kupp was second on the team in receptions with 62 and added 5 TDS).

Then in August, the Rams made a trade with the Bills, bringing over the dynamic speed WR out of Clemson, Sammy Watkins. Watkins became the deep threat the Rams desired, but he struggled to find chemistry with Goff early on. However, despite being fourth on the team in receiving yards (593), he led the team with eight TDs and was a big play threat all season. The challenge will be to get Watkins signed long term.

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Talking through this wide receivers group leaves a huge production hole in the passing offense. Often times young QBs have a reliable tight end they lean on regularly. For Goff, it was Todd Gurley. Gurley led the team in receptions and his 788 receiving yards was second in the NFL among running backs.

Gurley’s contributions to the passing game have been one of the biggest additions to the offense this season, and it has allowed the Los Angeles Rams to strike fear into opposing defenses with their well executes screen game.  Look for that to play a part in the playoffs.

Suffice it to say, this is a completely revitalized group. There are some other depth players that we will look at as we approach the offseason. For now, let’s hope this WR group can make plays and bring a win against the Falcons.