I love how the LA Rams passing attack is configured for 2022

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Matthew Stafford
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Stafford, the deep ball, and physicality

When the LA Rams pulled the trigger to acquire veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, that set into motion a number of changes among the Rams receiving group, changes that were both temporary and permanent. To accommodate Goff and speed up the passing game to help avoid faster pass rushes, the team had shortened route trees and placed more honus upon the receivers to get first downs by piling on yards after the catch.

With Stafford under center, the full route tree was re-activated, and the Rams quickly established their ability and willingness to test secondaries deep by opening up the 2021 NFL season with huge touchdown passes to DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, and even Cooper Kupp.

OBJ throws a new wrinkle into the Rams’ passing attack

But the Rams found that occasional cameo appearances on the football field by DJax were not working for the player, and could not be increased in frequency due to Jackson’s limits in this offense. He could run, but he was not up to the challenges of the physicality of blocking, clearing out zones, and a host of other ways receivers contribute.  The Rams cut Jackson, and lost WR Robert Woods to a season-ending injury, but not before the team signed veteran WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. was an unplanned but quite welcome to the LA Rams roster. In just seven starts, and despite joining the team mid-season, OBJ scored five touchdowns in the regular season, and two more in the postseason. In just half of the season, he tied the fourth-highest scorer in the team’s passing assault. OBJ did not stretch the field vertically as much as simply worked to win contested catches, the type of pass that Matthew Stafford loves to throw.