What have LA Rams done to offense to suit Matthew Stafford?

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Stafford LA Rams
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Play distribution

The LA Rams have been a bit all over the board in recent years. In 2017, the pass/run ratio was a tight 53/47 percent split. In 2018, the team featured the pass a bit more and ended at a 55/45 percent distribution. In 2019, the offense emphasized the pass and climbed to a full-out 60/40 split on play calling. But that regressed into a 57/43 split for 2020.

Now, that 2020 offense frustrated McVay. It was a good split but the passing depth shortened the football field significantly. That helped the completion rate, but as McVay himself noted, leveraged the defense’s ability to create turnovers and force mistakes. That, ladies and gentleman, is not the McVay way.

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We’ve just discussed how the Rams receivers will likely add 5+ yards to their route tree. So who will make up the difference? Well, both Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson are working with extra effort to master catching the pass out of the backfield. Those wheel routes and filtering through the line of scrimmage will backfill the short passing routes.

Of course, the Rams will have a keener eye to meting out plays to the starters. The offense will need to find some help to power the ball through the punishing short-yardage plays. That could be a distinct competition for either Xavier Jones or Jake Funk, with the edge going to Jones for the time being.

Akers will be the offensive workhorse this year. Even as he is the featured running back, he will be used frequently in the passing game as well. The key will be how the Rams work Henderson and a third running back into the rotation.