The Los Angeles Rams head into their biggest season yet in Los Angeles. With Matthew Stafford at quarterback, there is an excitement around the building that this team could be Super Bowl bound. Prior to the season, I’m going to take a look at the Rams’ over/unders and make a prediction. Official lines were taken from TheLines.com. This is not betting advice. As always, if you do gamble, please do so responsibly!
Los Angeles Rams – 10.5 Wins
The betters have given the Rams a mark of 10.5 wins heading into the 2021 season. That’s the fourth most wins in the NFL. With how much talent that the Rams have and a new quarterback, 10.5 seems low. I have predicted the Rams to go 14-3 next season, but Sean McVay has won 10 or more games in three out of his four seasons in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look at the Rams schedule and see if we can find 11 wins.
There’s 10 pretty solid wins going into the season. The hope would be that the Rams can then steal a win somewhere. Sean McVay has never lost to the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams are also at home on primetime against the Tennessee Titans. 12 wins could arguably be seen as a safe bet.
As mentioned, McVay has won 10 or more games in three of the last four seasons. With an extra game, getting to 11 should be a given. Unless an injury occurs, I’m going with the over.
QB Matthew Stafford – 4,595.5 Yards
Fans are expecting Matthew Stafford to have a breakout season with the Los Angeles Rams in Sean McVay’s offense. However, Stafford hasn’t thrown for over 4500 yards since 2013. The closest he’s come since then was 4446 in 2017.
4,595 yards would be an average of 270 yards per game for Stafford over a 17 game season. Jared Goff surpassed that number in two of the last three seasons and was 6.5 yards short in 2020. With better weapons and the best play caller that Stafford has had since Jim Caldwell, he should be able to get above 4600.
While numbers like 5000 that some have thrown out there might be a little on the high-end, 4595 seems like a realistic number for Stafford to beat in 2021.
QB Matthew Stafford – 26.5 Touchdowns
In a breakout season, it should be expected that Stafford throw more than 26 touchdowns. However, he’s thrown more than 26 just once since 2015. That was the 2017 season in which the former Detroit Lions quarterback found the end zone 29 times.
If the Rams offense can find its form from 2017 and 2018, Stafford should be able get above 26. In those seasons, Goff threw 28 and 32 touchdowns respectively. The injury to Cam Akers could also have a boost on Stafford’s overall touchdown number.
WR Cooper Kupp – 1000.5 Yards
When looking at Cooper Kupp’s stats, it’s hard to believe that he only has one 1,000 yard season in his career. However, that’s the case as he had 1161 in 2019. Kupp likely would have surpassed the number in 2018 if not for a late-season injury. The same could be said about last season in which he came up 26 yards short and was on the COVID list in Week 17.
If Kupp can stay healthy over 17 games, there’s no doubt that he can surpass 1,000 yards, especially with Matthew Stafford throwing him the football. Kupp is a featured part of the Los Angeles Rams offense. The biggest thing for him is remaining healthy.
WR Cooper Kupp – 6 Touchdowns
Six touchdowns seems mighty low for Kupp. He had 10 touchdowns in 2019 and had six in 2018 before an injury. He had a career low last season of three, but that likely had more to do with the quarterback position than it did with Kupp. The one downside with Kupp is that he is also splitting stats with Robert Woods. However, Stafford should be able to distribute the ball well and find Kupp in the red zone.
WR Robert Woods – 995 Yards
Robert Woods has had 1,000 yards in two of the last three seasons, but some of that had to do with Cooper Kupp going down with an injury. Woods was just 64 yards short of the mark last season. Matthew Stafford should have a bump in everyone’s stats on offense and that includes Woods.
The Los Angeles Rams veteran receiver had 1100+ yards in 2017 and 2018. It should be expected that he be close to that mark once again in 2021.
WR Robert Woods – 6.5 Touchdowns
Woods has had six touchdowns twice in his career. However, he’s never had over six touchdowns. Does adding an extra regular season game help with that and get him over the line? However, those six touchdowns are receiving touchdowns and don’t include the effect that he has running the football in which he can typically add 1-2 touchdowns per season.
This one is a little bit more difficult as the Rams have a lot of options in the red zone this season. Tyler Higbee could have a big year in the red zone as well as Kupp and even rookie Jacob Harris. I’ve taken the over on a lot of these stats, and at this point, I’ll remain consistent with the idea that Stafford gives Woods a boost.
WR DeSean Jackson – 3.5 Touchdowns
This one is difficult as it hinder on Jackson being able to stay healthy. The last time that Jackson eclipsed three touchdowns was when he played 12 games for the Buccaneers in 2018.
The Los Angeles Rams third wide receiver typically hasn’t found the end zone that often. Josh Reynolds and Brandin Cooks each had two receiving touchdowns in 2019 and 2020. Cooks had five in 2018, but wasn’t splitting time as the team’s third receiver like Jackson could. Two or three touchdowns seems likely for Jackson, but it’s hard to see him getting more than that.
TE Tyler Higbee – 650.5 Yards
For the first time in his career, Tyler Higbee is THE number one tight end in the Los Angeles Rams offense. No more splitting time with Lance Kendricks or Gerald Everett. Last season, Higbee had 520 yards following a 721 yard season the year before. As the primary receiving tight end in the Rams offense, Higbee should get plenty of looks.
TE Tyler Higbee – 5.5 Touchdowns
While Higbee will be the featured tight end in the Rams offense, he’s never had more than five touchdowns in a season. Last year, he had five touchdown exactly. Matthew Stafford could give Higbee a boost in the red zone, however, I might stick with him getting five touchdowns exactly and not going over that number.
DL Aaron Donald – 12.5 Sacks
The campaign for a fourth defensive player of the year award is officially a go. Donald has had 12.5 or more sacks in each of the last three seasons. According to Pro Football Focus, the Los Angeles Rams will play the 32nd, 28th, 27th, and 23rd ranked offensive lines in 2021. The Rams will also play four of the top-10 offensive lines going into the year. However, that shouldn’t slow down Donald.
Donald will be 30 and you have to assume at some point he’ll slow down. At the same time, this is Aaron Donald we’re talking about. With an added 17th game, Donald should reach the 12.5 sack mark for a fourth straight year.
EDGE Leonard Floyd – 7.5 Sacks
This number seems very low for Floyd. We just talked about Donald, but it shouldn’t be understated how many opportunities Donald creates for other players around him. One of the prime beneficiaries of that will be Leonard Floyd. Last season, the former Chicago Bears first round pick had a career-high 10.5 sacks. Even if he doesn’t crack double-digits, Floyd could certainly hit the eight or nine mark with a 17-game regular season.