Latest data shows LA Rams offense is a hot mess right now

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams offense is in a bit of a slump right now. But measuring the cause and effect of the LA Rams’ struggles when the offense has the football is a bit tricky. Clearly, the Rams continue to gain yards when Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford finds his wide receiver, Cooper Kupp. And the rate of passing to tight end Tyler Higbee has him flirting with his first 1000 yards receiving.

But with the exception of a token effort to repurpose second-year wide receiver, Ben Skowronek, as a blocking back with some success, the Rams’ offense has been both predictable and ineffective.  The Rams’ offense has become 24 percent Cooper Kupp, 16 percent Tyler Higbee, 35 percent running, and 26 passing to all other receivers.

The trouble is, opposing defenses who face the Rams over the rest of the season already know how to defend the Rams. So it’s no wonder that the LA Rams offense, once held up as the template for all other offenses, is now ranked dead last in the NFL after four weeks per the Tweet below.

ANY/A equates to Adjusted net yards per pass attempt. Right now, the Rams are passing at an overwhelming rate. But as the detail shows, the Rams’ passing offense is working harder and harder with diminishing returns.

Since the source of that information was not sourced, I wanted to confirm those findings independently and sought to do so from Football Outsiders. Their data after four weeks places the Rams offense as the 26th-ranked offense adjusted per DVOA after four weeks but drops to the 30th-ranked offense unadjusted per DVOA after four weeks.

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DVOA confirmed: Rams offense is a hot mess

DVOA is defense-adjusted value over average and is an attempt to normalize how well individual plays do compare to what you might expect. For example, a three-yard gain on fourth down and one yard to go is fewer yards than a nine-yard run on third down and 20-yards to go but is better when adjusted for DVOA.

Even as fans continue to pound the pulpit for the LA Rams to fire DC Raheem Morris, the Rams’ defense is actually putting up a pretty good fight. If you accept the rankings from Football Outsiders, the Rams units are:

Offense – 26th ranked
Defense – 18th ranked
Special Teams – 29th ranked

Of course, the Rams are fighting through an overwhelming number of injuries so far. But as injuries have modified and, in some ways, lowered the ability of the Rams to stick to their game plan, the Rams have shown no signs whatsoever of modifying anything. In fact, the Rams appear to be spiraling more and more to a pass-only offense.

What’s the answer? Well, much of the solution is already underway, as many injured players will eventually return to the Rams’ active roster.  In the meantime, the LA Rams have to adapt to current conditions to give substitute players a chance to succeed. By doing so, the Rams can show a much stronger offense and, hopefully, perform up to fans’ expectations.

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