News & Analysis

Los Angeles Rams 2018 Season Recap

By PFF Analysis Team
Feb 25, 2019

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Dec 17, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay congratulates quarterback Jared Goff (16) after a touchdown play during the second half in a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Rams won 42-7. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

During the NFL season, our team of 300-plus staff spend around 20,000 man-hours grading and analyzing every play of the NFL season, from the kickoff in the Hall of Fame game to the final play of the Super Bowl.

Now that the 2018 season is officially in the books, we can now take a look back at the season through the eyes of each NFL team and using the grades and statistics that we have compiled, we and detail what went right, what went wrong, and explain what that team has to look forward to.

Below is the 2018 season recap for the Los Angeles Rams.

Overview

The Rams were one of the best teams in the league in 2018, earning the No. 2 seed and winning the NFC before a 13-3 Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.

What went right?
  • Aaron Donald was dominant again in 2018, finishing as the league’s highest-graded defensive player for the third year in a row. Donald finished with 21 sacks while amassing an astonishing 106 total pressures.
  • Jared Goff took another step forward in his third NFL season, finishing with a career-high grade of 85.5.
  • Robert Woods broke out this season, emerging as the team’s leading receiver with 1,219 receiving yards while only dropping two of his 88 catchable targets.

What went wrong?
  • Newly acquired CB Marcus Peters struggled in 2018, finishing with an NFL passer rating allowed of 109.9. Peters’ overall grade of 60.1 was down 20.6 points from just a season ago.
  • In a year where not much went wrong offensively, losing WR Cooper Kupp due to an ACL injury was a tough loss for the Rams. From the slot, Kupp averaged a whopping 2.42 yards per route run and hauled in five touchdowns over the course of eight games.
  • Despite starting all 16 games, veteran center John Sullivan turned in the lowest overall grade of his career at 51.7. Particularly in pass blocking, Sullivan struggled and allowed 37 total pressures, the most of any center in the league.

Highest-graded player on offense

WR Robert Woods 88.0

Woods posted the highest grade on offense as he emerged as one of the league’s best possession receivers. His 66 first downs ranked seventh in the NFL.

Highest-graded player on defense

DI Aaron Donald 95.6

It’s no surprise that Donald had the best grade on the defensive side and he’s now been the top-graded interior defensive lineman in the league over the last four seasons. His 95.6 mark is the best we’ve seen since 2006.

Breakout Player/Secret Superstar

Rob Havenstein made huge strides in 2018 while starting all 16 games at right tackle for the Rams. Havenstein’s 84.3 overall grade was a career-high and the fourth-best mark among all offensive linemen in the league.

Key Rookie

Fourth-round edge defender John Franklin-Myers showed promise as a rookie despite finishing with an overall grade of 63.8. Playing mostly in a pass-rush capacity, Franklin-Myers finished seventh among all rookie defenders with 21 quarterback hurries.

In conclusion

Despite the Super Bowl loss, there’s plenty of optimism for the Rams moving forward as they have top players on both sides of the ball and they’ll be right in the mix once again in 2019.

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