LA Rams News: How can the offense generate more TDs for WR Robert Woods
The LA Rams offense has many ways to move the ball up and down the field. But when the team approaches the end zone, getting the ball into the end-zone becomes somewhat problematic. For WR Robert Woods, that was particularly problematic. His two touchdowns totals were the least amount of times he’d scored since arriving at the LA Rams and playing for head coach Sean McVay.
Despite averaging 12.4 yards per reception, and the second-highest number of yards in his NFL career of seven years, he was held to just two touchdowns in the air, and one touchdown on the ground. An even more disappointing statistic is scoring just those two touchdowns despite 90 receptions for the year. Just one short year ago, he scored once every 14.3 receptions. In 2019? He scored once every 45 receptions.
How would Woods score more?
So the question is, how can the LA Rams up his scoring? Woods is 6-foot-0 and 195-pounds, so he remains a viable target no matter what the field position. In the past, he has scored more often with fewer receptions. Is it the player, the defense, or the offense? For now, let’s lean towards the offensive formations of 2019.
We know that the LA Rams offense was out of sorts last season, triggered by repetitive injuries to an already struggling offensive line. Defenses took advantage of poor line play to rush QB Jared Goff, forcing him to make a primary read or throw it away. The result was disappointing but expected. Goff threw for far fewer touchdowns and far more interceptions.
The 2019 fix was two tight end sets, giving the offensive line a bit of help on blocking, and Goff more time to make the throw. But that fix removed the very effective slot receiver from the formation and forced the Rams into an either/or role for both WR Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
2 TE sets
Two tight end sets allowed defenses to focus coverage upon just two Rams wide receivers, which then allowed tight end, Tyler Higbee, to exploit the mismatch. It also provided ample protection for the Rams QB Goff to set up and find the open receiver. That open receiver in December 2019 was Higbee, who suddenly unleashed several years of frustration upon NFL defenses.
Using two tight-ends did not happen automatically in 2019, which is both surprising and concerning. After all, the LA Rams stockpiled tight ends on the roster in Higbee, Gerald Everett, and Johnny Mundt. It was not until the LA Rams offensive line was on life support that head coach Sean McVay recognized that a problem existed and did something about it. The effectiveness of the two-tight end set proved that the Rams offensive line woes could be addressed with better
Robert Woods Fantasy football outlook positive
But tight ends can line up wide as well. As long as the Rams rotate protection to the weak side, the result becomes Woods or Kupp exploiting the mismatch on a slot cornerback or even a linebacker. That tweak can mean the difference between a huge season for Woods and a lackluster one. Right now, the smart money seems to be siding with the huge season.
And at the end of the day, the coaching staff can design plays to free up any receiver. RB Todd Gurley rushed for 12 TDs in 2019, and for 17 scores the previous season. The Rams will need to replace that production, and it cannot all fall upon rookie RB Cam Akers. Woods is a proven producer for the Rams offense in the past and was overlooked in 2019. That makes him the perfect reclamation project for new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell in 2020.