Los Angeles coach Sean McVay and OC Kevin O’Connell have shifted the Rams’ offense from a pass-first approach to a ground-heavy plan to open 2020.
Despite jettisoning running back Todd Gurley in favor of a trio of Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers, and employing a $100 million receiver duo in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, the Rams have taken the air out of the ball through six games.
Woods, whose numbers have been down this season, isn’t fretting not seeing as many targets, as long as the Rams find Ws.
“Whatever it takes to win,” Woods said Wednesday, via the OC Register. “I obviously want the ball in my hands, to find ways to make plays, to get it done in the air.”
Through the opening chunk of the season, the Rams have been passing on fewer than half their snaps, the first time that’s happened under McVay.
“That’s just how it’s been working out so far,” Wood noted. “I’m just trying to keep it going, and hope the ball finds me the rest of the season.”
Part of the discrepancy is the Rams’ four wins came against the lowly NFC East, which allowed McVay to pound the rock to bleed the clock. L.A. has also been effective running the ball, ranking No. 1 in rush offense efficiency per Football Outsiders.
The pass offense hasn’t been bad (ranks 10th by Football Outsiders), but with McVay protecting Goff and the ground game churning yards, the Rams haven’t needed to divebomb opponents. At least not yet.
In the last three games, Kupp earned 69 yards, 66 yards and 11 yards, respectively. In Weeks 2-6, Woods has averaged 44.8 receiving yards. Those figures aren’t what we’ve come to expect from the Rams.
“We (receivers) want to be involved in the pass game,” Wood said. “But (I’m) not thinking of it. It’s still early on in the season. There’s a lot of games to be played, a lot of passes to be caught.”
Don’t expect McVay to change his game plan this week in Monday Night Football’s matchup against Chicago. The Bears have boasted a top-2 pass defense all season, smothering receivers, and badgering QBs. We should see a large dose of the running game once again for L.A., especially if the Rams jump out to an early lead.