LA Rams already fixed 2 of 5 items on 2022 punch list

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams roster Rams News
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Punch List: Item I – Reset receivers

The LA Rams nearly ran out of bullets after Odell Bekham Jr. fell to injury in Super Bowl LVI.  It was pretty clear throughout the season that the LA Rams’ premier receiver weapons were Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Odell Beckham Jr, and in that order. If not for the heroics of quarterback Matthew Stafford finding wide receiver Cooper Kupp, the NFL Championship Game may have ended differently.

So the first order of business for the LA Rams offense is to reload a weapons package that optimizes the passing talents of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. The initial impression for Stafford was to load up on receivers who would run 60+ yards downfield and let Stafford just sit back and air it out to them.

That worked some of the time, but the LA Rams are looking for more than 50/50 jump balls. Whether it was veteran WR DeSean Jackson, second-year WR Van Jefferson, or any other receiver, the completion rate was well under 60 percent.

Rams Roster: Receivers

But give Stafford a receiver who will create separation like Cooper Kupp, or climb the ladder on contested balls like Odell Beckham Jr., and the completion rate skyrockets. Odell Beckam Jr. had a completion rate of over 80 percent in the playoffs, 20 percentage points better than his career average. Despite attracting double coverage, Cooper Kupp’s 78.6 percent completion rate was perhaps even more impressive.

The LA Rams discovered, or perhaps were reintroduced to the fact, that injuries happen. And unfortunately, injuries in 2021 forced the team to reinvent their offensive strategies because there was too much overlap in some styles of play, and simply not enough overlap in other styles of play. So are the LA Rams making any progress on adding real backup level depth to their receivers? Perhaps more than you might realize.