Rams

Will the Los Angeles Rams offense bounce back in 2020?

  • Andrew Whitwortu
  • Cam Akers
  • Jared Goff
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Sean McVay
  • Tyler Higbee
By Raul Corona September 9, 2020 0 Comment
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After a disappointing 2019 and the loss of key players, the question on everyone’s mind is: just how good is the 2020 Los Angeles Rams offense going to be?

First, the word good is quite ambiguous. A good offense in the NFL means effective.

An effective offense will be at least in the top half of the rankings. A great offense in the top 10, and the top five will be reserved for the elite. The Rams have been there before. Can they get back to their 2018 form?

What’s the story for the Los Angeles Rams?

The Los Angeles Rams finished the 2019 season 11th in points scored and seventh in total yards.

In the passing game, they were ranked fourth in yards, 19th in touchdowns, and seventh in interceptions.

The running game ranked 26th in yards and fifth in touchdowns but averaged a meager 3.7 yards per rushing attempt which placed them in the 27th spot.

With that in mind, and knowing that Sean McVay will continue to call the plays in 2020, let’s look at two major factors that will decide the offense’s success in 2020: coaching and personnel.

Coaching

Has the NFL finally caught up with Sean McVay’s offense?

Somewhat. The 6-1 defense used by most teams against the Rams was very effective. But, as soon as this started happening, McVay made the necessary adjustments to still have the 11th best scoring offense in the league, even with a banged-up running back and a myriad of injuries on the offensive line. So, no, the NFL did not totally catch up with McVay.

McVay started to incorporate more two-tight end sets which translated to Tyler Higbee having statistically the best season for a TE in Rams history.

The Rams offense still made life hard for teams with great defenses in 2019 and stayed in playoff contention late in the season. McVay adapted, found solutions, and kept his offense evolving throughout the season. Numbers don’t lie.

Personnel

Even with great coaching, effective football relies on winning one on one match-ups and having better players turns good play-calling into great. Let’s breakdown the projected starters on offense:

Quarterback

Jared Goff is back at center and 2020 should see him throw less, and ideally from a more comfortable pocket. Fewer interceptions and fumbles should follow.

Despite what many quarterback rankings indicate, Goff is at least a top 15 quarterback in the NFL, a two-time pro bowler, two-time division champion and conference champion, who still boasts a very decent 91.9 quarterback rating (that’s including an awful rookie year under Jeff Fisher).

Running Back

Training camp reports indicate that Cam Akers will be the number one running back in the depth chart and will handle most of the carries. Akers looks like a 1,000 yard back according to left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Offensive line

Anchoring this unit is veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who is still one of the league’s best, even if he has a loss a step here and there. His experience is second to none.

The rest of the offensive line is a major cause of concern for the Rams and it ranked 31st last year by Pro Football Focus.

Left guard Joe Noteboom underperformed last year and was often pushed around by bigger defensive lineman before he went down with both MCL and ACL injuries. If he struggles, David Edwards will jump right in.

Austin Blythe reportedly had little competition for the starting center position and it appears that he will not be shuffled around the line as in previous years where he underperformed as a guard.

The right guard spot went down to the wire between Austin Corbett and David Edwards with the former apparently getting the nod. McVay also mentioned that the unit as a whole is still – an ongoing evaluation – which indicates that we could see either vs Dallas in week 1.

Rob Havenstein got his job back at right tackle after seriously regressing last season, following outstanding 2017 and 2018 seasons. If he can go back to performing to his true potential, then he should remain at right tackle for years to come.

Tight End

The Rams have depth at this position. Tyler Higbee is coming off a dominant second half of the season and is a Top 10 tight end in the NFL and Gerald Everett is the Rams secret weapon.

Everett would be a starter on most teams, and even though he is second on the depth chart right now, the Rams have hinted that they will go into 12 personnel often and use both tight ends as weapons and not just as security blankets for Goff.

Wide Receivers

The Rams receiving corps is the team’s strongest unit as a whole. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are mirror images of each other. Strong and quick receivers that run consistent routes and are great blockers. Both are top 15 talent in the NFL.

The number three receiver was supposed to be Josh Reynolds, however, rookie Van Jefferson had an unbelievable training camp and reports have indicated he will be the number three receiver relegating Reynolds to fourth on the depth chart.

Verdict

McVay is still an offensive mastermind and any other team in the NFL would jump at the chance of having him in his ranks. His innovative play-calling will continue to provide offensive highlights in 2020.

The advantage the receiving corps will have on most defenses is where the Rams will thrive this season. Expect big numbers from Higbee, a breakout season for Jefferson, and a bounce-back year from Goff.

Rams will rank as a top five offense in 2020.

Starters:

QB: Jared Goff

RB: Cam Akers

LT: Andrew Whitworth

LG: Joe Noteboom

C: Austin Blythe

RG: Austin Corbett

RT: Rob Havenstein

TE: Tyler Higbee

WR: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson

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