The LA Rams offense has been scoring an average of nearly 30 points per game since their Week 10 BYE. But before you scoff at that accomplishment without doing the research, let's be very clear. The Rams had done it against some of the best defenses in the NFL.
The New Orleans Saints defense, previously ranked as the sixth-stingiest defense in the NFL, had previously only allowed an average of 19.1 points per game in 14 games in the 2023 NFL season. The LA Rams offense just put up 30 points against them.
It's not as though the Saints defense had a bad game. If that were true, the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns had bad games as well. But the pattern is not evidence of a bad defensive effort by the Saints, Ravens, or Browns. Rather the evidence since the Rams healed up during their Week 10 BYE week points to a Rams offense that is finally firing on all cylinders.
Who is contributing to this Rams offensive output?
The LA Rams have been built around the chemistry between starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Unfortunately, Kupp is having a sub-par season for the Rams in 2023. Whether it's due to injury or competition, Kupp has caught 55 of 89 passes (61.8 catch percentage) for 710 yards and four touchdowns. While that is not bad, it's less than the Rams expected from him this season.
But the Rams have been pleasantly surprised with the performances of rookie WR Puka Nacua and second-year RB Kyren Williams. Rivers has carried the football 208 times for 1,057 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Curiously, he has accomplished that feat in just 11 games. His teammate, Puka Nacua, has hauled in 96 of 146 passes for 1,327 yards and five touchdowns.
With Week 15 in the NFL record books, Nacua is the fifth-best NFL rookie WR of All Time. Here are the Top 5 rookie wide receivers stats. Notice the names on this list. Puka Nacua has earned his place among the NFL elite receivers, and he was the 177th rookie selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Better still, he has two more games to gain 147+ receiving yards to set the All-time NFL Rookie Receiving Yards Record:
Check out the NFL All-Time Rookie Receiving Yards Record Holders from the list below. Names you will not see are WR Odell Beckham Jr., Randy Moss, Michael Thomas, or even Amari Cooper, as Puka Nacua has already surpassed their rookie seasons:
Now, here's the new twist to this Rams offense
But the Rams have been blessed with more than young talent this season. veteran WR Demarcus Robinson, a veteran wide receiver playing for an NFL minimum, has a four-game scoring streak in this LA Rams offense. So far, he has been one of the veteran receivers who has stepped up for the Rams through the playoff push so far.
While the LA Rams took it on the chin with signing free agent Allen Robinson in 2022, Demarcus Robinson has more than made up for that gaffe by playing on an incredibly team-friendly contract. And he is a better play-maker too. He's done so by making catches like this one:
So far for the season, Robinson has 20 catches for 279 yards and four touchdowns. But he continues to play a larger role in the Rams offense. In Week 16 on Thursday Night Football, Demarcus Robinson had his best game of the season, catching all six of the passes thrown his way for 82 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams continue to surprise each week as more and more offensive skill players seem to step up for their turn in the spotlight. In the past six games, the LA Rams are 5-1, and the offense has been scoring an average of just under 30 points a game. While you will find many who fret about the Rams' defense in the comments section and chat rooms, remember one thing.
The LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI with a ninth-ranked offense and 17th-ranked defense. So far in 2023, the LA Rams offense is ranked eighth, while the Rams defense is ranked 18th. Yes, the LA Rams only have a rec3ord of 8-7, but if the Rams do earn a berth in the NFL Playoffs, anything can happen.