Quicker release = shorter field
Well both. Jared Goff threw an average of 8.0 yards per reception in 2017 (third best in NFL), for 8.4 yards per reception in 2018 (4th best in NFL), and just 7.4 yards per reception in 2019 (14th best in NFL). As the team realized the offensive line injuries, pass plays became shorter and faster, translating into fewer average yards per reception.
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In turn, that meant more defenders could crowd the line of scrimmage, complicating the running game even more. Running against so many “in the box” forced the rams into obvious passing downs.
Ultimately, defenses dictated the plays to the offense.
In a recent article, we’d highlighted some of the upside arriving with new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. His willingness to adapt the playbook to build confidence in his young quarterback will be a key to reinvigorating the Rams offense. But does he do that by making the short passing game even shorter? Are the Rams heading to a “dink and dunk” future? Hardly.
The key to any offense is to force the defense to do that which they don’t want to do. That means defend the field sideline to sideline, and to force defensive backs to remain honest by protecting the back half of the field.