The Los Angeles Rams made some big changes coming into the 2021 season. However, acquiring their new quarterback, Matthew Stafford, created the most buzz around the league.
Stafford had spent his entire career with the Detroit Lions. Kevin O’Connell and the coaching staff of the Rams believe that his veteran leadership and strong decision-making abilities are the perfect fit in their offensive system. The Rams acquisition of Stafford dramatically affected NFL betting lines because bettors believe he is better for the Rams offense.
Acquiring Stafford cost the Rams their high-profile draft pick of a few years ago, Jared Goff. Goff was the number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, his mediocre performance in LA, and his recent trade to Detroit, is yet another disappointment from the 2016 draft class.
The Rams are looking into the future after trading Goff. O’Connell and his staff feel strongly about Stafford being the answer to some of their offensive woes.
Let’s look at some of the scoring trends since O’Connell took over the LA Rams offense.
Los Angeles Rams Scoring Trends
Before O’Connell arrived in LA, the Los Angeles Rams offense struggled. The Rams passing attack averaged about 250 yards in 2020. They had 20 passing TDs and 19 rushing TDs, and their quarterbacks threw 14 interceptions in 2020.
Kevin O’Connell took over the Rams’ offense at the start of the 2020 season. While some of the low production numbers occurred in his first year with the Rams, there is always a transition period when new coaches come in.
O’Connell also has experience as the Washington Redskins’ coordinator during the 2019 season. O’Connell still favors keeping the pass attempts low. In his two seasons as an OC, he averaged about 33 pass attempts per game. This number is still below the league average.
In the 2021 season, Sean McVay will most likely still be calling the offensive plays for the Rams. But, with O’Connell on board as an offensive coordinator, the play-calling could fall into his hands at any moment. And, in the type of offense he’s used to running, he prefers fewer pass attempts than Sean McVay has been averaging over the past two seasons.
What the Future Holds
The Rams will have to rely heavily on their running game to make headway with their offensive production. O’Connell has no problem with that, as he’s worked with talented running backs like Adrian Peterson before.
With the loss of Todd Gurley, however, the Los Angeles Rams don’t have that typical “bell cow” running back. Fortunately, O’Connell is willing to switch to a committee-style backfield if there is cause to do so.
Early in the 2021 season, the Rams are averaging 30.5 points per game. This is a touchdown ahead of where they were in 2020. They also sit at 2-0 and currently hold first place in their division.
Whatever McVay and O’Connell are cooking up seems to be working in the NFC West.
Can the Rams continue their winning ways by leaning on their talented group of running backs, or will they need to start passing the ball more to keep up with faster-paced offenses? Do you think that the Los Angeles Rams can find success on the ground this week against Tampa Bay?
Check out BetMGM’s King of the Weekend contest to make your scoring predictions.