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Data shows Rams throw to Kupp/Higbee despite Robinson open…

November 17, 2022 06:33AM
Data shows Rams throw to Kupp/Higbee despite Robinson open


by Bret Stuter

Sometimes the eyes tell you something completely contrary to the consensus of talk regarding the LA Rams’ individual player performances. So far this season, my eyes have told me a completely different story than the consensus has been sharing on social media and in discussions that happened after articles, chat rooms, or forums.

Even though I have lobbied hard for the team to spread the wealth in terms of targets, to ensure that the wide receivers get a more level workload, the passes continued to sail in the direction of wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee. While that was not only poor decision-making on the part of the Rams’ offensive plays but the insistence on repeating that tendency in each game has ensured that the Rams’ offense conformed to the defensive scheme.

The LA Rams have not only failed to anticipate and exploit the opposing defense completely disrespecting the running game and countered that by running the ball with authority. The Rams also continued to throw to the two receivers that defenses knew would be targeted weeks before facing the Rams.

Now we have the data to question that strategy with more than a gut feeling that it was a bad strategy.

Five Thirty-Eight data allow objective objections to Rams’ strategy

The Best NFL Receivers, According to ESPN Analytics, a recent fivethirtyeight.com report released this week, ranks the Top 100 NFL receivers this season, but does so in such a way that it allows a bit more discussion than just catches and yards.

This analysis gives a series of relative ratings that include categories of Yards per route, Openness, Catch rate, Yard After Catch, and finally Overall rating. By creating categories of openness, we can finally objectively assess the rationality of why the Rams target Kupp and Higbee over the likes of Allen Robinson. In the face of this data, they shouldn’t be.

Rank Player Posn Yds Rts Tgts Yds/Rt Open Catch YAC Overall
27 Cooper Kupp WR 812 284 79 2.9 55 63 53 61
57 Allen Robinson WR 292 279 46 1.0 63 55 24 49
57 Ben Skowronek WR 245 251 38 1.0 64 45 34 49
84 Tyler Higbee TE 385 216 51 1.8 54 23 45 37
According to the 538 data made available from ESPN data analytics, both Robinson and Skowronek are more open than either Kupp or Higbee. And Robinson has a better catch rate than either Skowronek or Higbee.

Who is the most open receiver on the Rams roster? Clearly, the options are either Robinson or Skowronek, neither of whose names have been mentioned in conversations this season. And that’s a bit surprising. After all, knowing that defenses blanket Kupp this season, it never made sense that he was open more than Robinson as many had suggested. Now that we have data showing that was not the case, the reason for not throwing to Robinson must be another reason like play calling or quarterback preference.

The Rams must find some way to replace the production of WR Cooper Kupp. And the timing of this receiver data is perfectly suited to assuage Rams fans’ concerns going into Week 11. While there is no denying that Cooper Kupp is at an altogether different plateau, the Rams roster has plenty of receivers who can step up. The challenge so far this season has been the decision not to throw their way.

Well, the decision has been made now. The Rams must throw their way now. But by the looks of things, Allen Robinson will be open and waiting.

  Data shows Rams throw to Kupp/Higbee despite Robinson open…

Rams43371November 17, 2022 06:33AM

  eye in the sky doesn't lie…been telling y'all

Rampage2K-195November 17, 2022 01:29PM

  So frustrating

Ram_Ruler214November 17, 2022 01:30PM

  Re: So frustrating

CarolinaRam173November 17, 2022 02:33PM

  Re: So frustrating

Rampage2K-112November 17, 2022 04:08PM

  Re: So frustrating

mtramfan89November 19, 2022 10:20PM

  Re: So frustrating

Classicalwit61November 20, 2022 11:07AM

  Re: eye in the sky doesn't lie…been telling y'all

Classicalwit78November 19, 2022 04:32AM

  Robinson runs the routes assigned

BumRap97November 20, 2022 06:14AM

  Re: eye in the sky doesn't lie…been telling y'all

RamsAl4864November 19, 2022 01:42PM

  Re: eye in the sky doesn't lie…been telling y'all

h2omelonhead67November 19, 2022 02:46PM

  As Woods has a great game for the Titans.

Ridgewood Ram177November 17, 2022 07:01PM

  Re: As Woods has a great game for the Titans.

Rampage2K-262November 17, 2022 07:32PM

  Re: Data shows Rams throw to Kupp/Higbee despite Robinson open…

sfbayram81November 19, 2022 01:57AM

  With Kupp out will ARob still be so wide open?

roman1880November 19, 2022 03:48AM