5 ways LA Rams failed to deliver for QB Matthew Stafford in 2021
The same wide receivers week to week
The LA Rams typically load up on wide receivers, to the point where the roster seems to burst with an exceptionally deep wide receiver room in training camp. The Rams signed FA WR DeSean Jackson, drafted WR Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, TE/WR Jacob Harris, and added them to a roster that was already eight receivers deep.
Then the team signed two more wide receivers after the 2021 NFL Draft. The team seemed to have plenty of targets for the new quarterback. But WR Trishton Jackson was cut to make room for the 53-man roster and left to sign with the Minnesota Vikings. Rookies Tutu Atwell and Jacob Harris were injured before making an impact on the offense.
Veteran WR DeSean Jackson was released after voicing concerns that he was underused. Veteran WR Robert Woods fell to injury, just as the team signed WR Odell Beckham Jr. But OBJ himself would fall to injury before halftime in Super Bowl LVI.
But the turnstile was not limited to wide receivers alone. The Rams lost TE Johnny Mundt early in the season. Starting TE Tyler Higbee missed several games, including SB LVI. Even backup TE Kendall Blanton was injured in the NFL Championship game, forcing the Rams to go with only TE Brycen Hopkins for almost the entire game.
That’s a lot of positional turnovers, particularly at positions that are so critical to a quarterback’s success. In fact, only WRs Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson caught passes from Stafford in Week 1, and in the Super Bowl. So many new faces, and so many players to build chemistry with.