Over the past two games, the LA Rams clearly wanted to involve tight end Tyler Higbee in the offense. Unfortunately, it seemed as though he didn’t want to be involved, as he was only able to haul in eight of the 15 passes thrown his way for 71 yards and one touchdown. Even though he is still on track to come in with similar statistics as other years, this was a year he was hoping to break the 1000 receiving yards barrier.
After all, he was no longer competing with teammate Gerald Everett. He is it in terms of targets in the passing game from the tight end position. But rather than improve on his performance, he has been one of the players who feel as though he had taken a step back.
He is certainly besting his career completion rate of 68.5 percent. But his current average yards per reception is the lowest it’s been since his rookie season. That’s a problem, because the team wanted to be more explosive, and create more opportunities in the running game by stretching the field, not by shrinking it.
There is only one way to correct that type of problem: Fix it.
Valerie, He’s the same TE he used to be
There are two principles that seem to hold true about this LA Rams offense, reasons that defy logic. The first is that this offense continues to need an effective rushing component to keep defenses honest. The second is that this offense needs to get the tight ends active in the passing game.
As far back as 2018, if the LA Rams found itself in a high-scoring game, ultimately tight end Tyler Higbee was counted on to get huge chunks of yardage. Somehow, that 2018 average of 12.2 yards per reception has plummeted to just 9.1 yards. That’s not on Higbee as much as it is on an offense that has lost its way in the wilderness.
This is still the same player who was so effective for the offense in December 2019. In that month alone, he was targeted 56 times and caught 43 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns. The offensive line is virtually the same as before. The only difference between now and then is the fact that it’s Matthew Stafford under center and that the Rams must go with Kendall Blanton as their other tight end.
The LA Rams offense is still dangerous and can move the ball, advance the chains, and put points on the scoreboard. The trick is to do it in a way that opposing defensive coordinators do not expect it. That is the new task for the LA Rams. The team needs veteran TE Tyler Higbee to be dangerous again, simply because no defense expects him to be.