The LA Rams certainly have gotten their money’s worth out of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, haven’t they? In his first year with the LA Rams, he proved to be the missing link, leading the Rams to a victory in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. It appears that the Rams’ instant success behind Stafford may have lured a number of other NFL teams into trying to duplicate that instant success by adding a star veteran quarterback to their roster.
Of course, even if all those teams are on the right track, only one team will ultimately enjoy the rewards of hoisting that Lombardi Trophy. There is only one NFL Champion in any given year. Right now, that team is the LA Rams. So now, the question is, how did they do it, and how can they repeat that performance?
For starters, the Rams’ offensive players found that they still ‘got it’ when it comes to testing the back end of defensive pass coverage. While wide receiver DeSean Jackson certainly made his big play ‘splash’ during his half-season chapter on the Rams season, the Rams actually did have two wide receivers who stuck it out all season and put up big plays the entire time. Who?
None other than Van Jefferson and Cooper Kupp, that’s who. Kupp’s big play mark came in at 15.9 percent of his looks, while Jefferson’s big play mark came in at 15.4 percent of his looks. What is perhaps even more impressive is that 846 yards of Cooper Kupp’s offensive contribution came as a result of yards after the catch, or an outstanding 5.8 yards per reception.
Van Jefferson was also quite impressive, although he has a ways to go to match his teammate. Jefferson put up 215 yards after the catch, which equates to 4.3 yards of additional offense per reception.
How about longest plays from scrimmage? Kupp delivered a 59-yarder as his longest play from scrimmage. Jefferson topped that, recording a 79-yard touchdown that set his longest play mark from the line of scrimmage.
Will the long bomb remain a component of the Rams’ offense in 2022? I think so. One of the reasons for the LA Rams to acquire veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford was his ability to launch the long pass with surprising effectiveness. We witnessed just how quickly those coast-to-coast strikes put points up on the board for the Rams in 2021.
Look for more of the same in 2022.