The Rams are fortunate enough to have hired Sean McVay, one of the brilliant young minds in the NFL. McVay led a Jared Goff offense to the Super Bowl, where they lost to Tom Brady and the Patriots 13-3. After trading Goff and a handful of draft picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford, the Rams significantly upgraded their quarterback.
Last year with Goff, the Rams ranked 22nd in points scored 17th in yards per game and passing yards per game, respectively. Stafford and McVay rank 8th in points per game, 9th in yards per game, and 2nd in passing yards through five games. (Their one dud was against the Arizona Cardinals at home, where Stafford and the offense weren't really on the same page.)
Let's take a closer look at the Rams personnel on offense that we need to pay attention to this weekend.
As mentioned earlier, Stafford can take this McVay offense to another peak. His arm strength, ability to process information quickly, and his extemporization skills are something that Goff couldn't offer.
Stafford can make all the throws and has proven to be an asset in move-the-pocket type of plays, something that many feared he'd struggle to handle.
He currently has a 68 percent completion rate with 1,587 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, and two interceptions. The passing offense ranks third in the league right now with that yardage total.
His hand could be an issue--on Thursday Night Football last week, it was apparent that Stafford was dealing with a hand issue on his throwing side, so this is something to monitor heading into the Giants game this weekend.
Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel are a formidable duo in McVay's wide zone-based approach that has proliferated around the NFL over the last several decades.
The Rams had to trade for Michel after Cam Akers tore his Achilles during the offseason. Henderson, who is injured quite often, has played well through four games (he missed a game due to injured ribs).
Henderson is still nursing his rib injury but has the necessary traits to thrive within the system if he can stay healthy. Michel is a quality change of pace back who does a solid job on third downs, mainly because of his pass protection ability.
Both Henderson and Michel are capable receivers out of the backfield. The Giants were just thrashed for over 200 yards on the ground against the Cowboys, most of which were outside runs to the right side. Expect McVay to exploit the Giants similarly.
Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson--take your pick. This receiving corps is explosive, technically sound, and full of versatility, with Woods and Kupp as excellent route runners who thrive underneath while also being dangerous on deep routes.
Jefferson is coming into his own as a second-year wide receiver who uncovers his route running ability well. Giants fans, unfortunately, know Jackson too well, and his speed is still elite.
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Kupp ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards and has a good rapport with Matt Stafford. He is being used at all three levels of the field and is more than just a safety valve out of the slot. Kupp has 523 yards on 37 receptions (54 targets). He also has five touchdowns.
Woods has two touchdowns on the season but is coming off his best game last week against Seattle, where he had 12 catches on 14 targets for 150 scoreless yards. Woods reminded the NFL that he is a great wide receiver as well.
Both Woods and Kupp will be used as blockers, and the pride they take in their ability to block defenders speaks to their overall character as football players.
Jefferson and DeSean Jackson are very good non-starting receivers. Jefferson is good enough to start on his own if something ever happened to either Kupp or Woods, and Jackson is a role player who can stretch the field vertically and horizontally. Look for McVay to dial-up deep shots to Jackson against a struggling Giants secondary.
The Rams use a lot of 11 personnel, and their primary tight end who plays almost every snap is Tyler Higbee. He has been very reliable in short to intermediate parts of the field, and his red-zone target percentage is among the highest at the tight end position. This year, the Giants have been terrible against tight ends, and Higbee will be a weapon for this offense.
When in 12 personnel, the Rams will bring out Johnny Mundt, more of an aggressive blocker with quick feet. He only has a catch on the season, but don't be surprised to see him in the red zone if the Giants find a way to stop the Rams rushing attack within the 5-yard line.
The Rams' five offensive linemen have all started together the entire season. Tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein are a quality duo, with Whitworth being the line's anchor.
Havenstein has grown into a good right tackle. The cohesion displayed by this entire unit could give the Giants problems in the zone-based rushing attack.
Brian Allen is the center with David Edwards and Austin Corbett at the guard positions. The line's interior is solid--they're not a top ten unit, but they play well together in the scheme.
Corbett was an early second-round pick in 2018 and looked like a big bust in Cleveland before general manager Les Snead traded for the athletic offensive linemen. It seemed to work out for the Rams.
Los Angeles has a young offensive line, most of them are young, and they haven't had to spend much high draft capital on the position group.
New York could undoubtedly improve their pressure rate and ability to harass the quarterback. It may be difficult for them to do so against this Rams' offense.
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