Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Get ready for a potential pillow fight between two offenses who currently rank in the bottom seven of the league in DVOA.
- Both teams are in the top 10 in the NFL in Pass Rate Over Expectation, but both are also bottom-5 in average depth of target.
- The Rams have played at a surprisingly slow pace this season after riding an uptempo offense to a Super Bowl last year.
- There is an unknown factor here with a coaching change in Carolina and uncertainty regarding how the team will react to that and any potential changes in philosophy or approach.
How carolina Will Try To Win ::
After an impressively inept two-plus seasons running the show, Matt Rhule was dismissed from his position as the Panthers Head Coach after last week’s ugly loss to the 49ers in which the Panthers once again showed very little resistance as they were methodically taken apart by the 49ers, who won by 20+ points and scored 37 points without doing anything exceptionally impressive. Taking over for Rhule will be Steve Wilks, who was previously a head coach for one season for the Cardinals during their season with Josh Rosen as the starting quarterback. The Panthers also fired their defensive coordinator, and Wilks has a background in defense, so it would make sense that most changes he makes will be on that side of the ball. On offense, Ben McAdoo is still running the show, so there is less likelihood of major changes, although Rhule being out may change the dynamics some, and we may see some adjustments as the Panthers may have different goals in mind than when they started the season (time to tank??).
Adding to the changes, Baker Mayfield will be out for some time after being injured in Week 5. Taking over will be PJ Walker, who has had a couple of spot starts in the last couple of years and actually won both games despite relatively modest stat lines. Walker may not set the world on fire himself, but he has shown the ability to get the ball to his playmakers and let them go to work. In Walker’s first start, DJ Moore had a stat line of one rush for 21 yards and seven receptions for 127 yards on eleven targets, while Curtis Samuel also had eight receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown – Christian McCaffrey did not play in that game. In Walker’s second start, CMC totaled 161 yards from scrimmage on 23 touches, and Walker spread the ball around to other receivers as the Panthers dominated the Cardinals. That was also the game Cam Newton returned to the Panthers and stole some of the scoring work.
Looking to this week, the Panthers currently rank top-10 in the NFL in Pass Rate Over Expectation (PROE), but Baker Mayfield has the lowest average intended air yards of all quarterbacks through five weeks. The Rams have a run defense that is top-5 in most metrics and has personnel advantages all over, which may make it difficult for the Panthers to start by getting things going on the ground. As for passing defense, the Rams play man coverage at the lowest rate in the league and, despite blitzing at the 6th highest rate in the NFL, rank 31st in hurry rate. The Rams also face the 6th lowest average depth of target among all defenses this season. This tells us that Walker should be able to have time to drop back and make good decisions about where to go with the ball, with openings most likely to be in short to intermediate areas of the field against their soft zone coverages. While I don’t expect the Panthers to fully air it out with Walker, it is worth noting that on just six attempts this season, Walker’s total intended air yards are 10% of what Mayfield had for the entire season.
How los angeles Will Try To Win ::
- To Mike’s point about the Rams potentially having more upside than it will look to most people on this side of Sunday :: we should keep in mind that the 2021 Rams were not a flash-in-the-pan fluke; while the makeup of that team was different from past Rams teams, Sean McVay has proven for years that he can scheme up offense, and can find solutions to obstacles that stand in the way of his teams
- We should also keep in mind that “pass rush matters” (as Mike also alluded to), and it wouldn’t be all that surprising if we were to see the Rams offense post their best overall game of the season in this spot
- Of course, there are deeper considerations on a slate this, in that we not only need the Rams to “have a good game on offense,” but need them to produce tourney-winning scores in order to be worth chasing on our rosters; when you look at Stafford priced next to Brady on DraftKings, it’s difficult to paint the picture of him frequently outperforming the GOAT if we could play out this slate a hundred times, which means the ownership gap would have to be significant before I would start getting onto Stafford on my tighter builds — but I do feel as confident as ever in Cooper Kupp this week, and if this backfield boasted a less messy split, I would have some interest here on tighter builds as well; Higbee remains in play (as he has for weeks), and while I can’t see myself chasing this “story” myself, it wouldn’t be a total shock if Allen Robinson were to post a couple touchdowns on relatively limited yardage
- The Panthers have three players in McCaffrey, Moore, and Robbie Anderson who “wouldn’t surprise us” if they came out of Sunday with a really nice output — and all three should come with low ownership (the Panthers’ wideouts in particular); while none of these three will be pushing their way onto my tighter builds, I consider all three to be large-field-viable
- Summing it up, I’m in a spot that’s a bit like, “Yeah, this game is kind of interesting” — and yet, I don’t have actual interest myself (on tighter builds) outside of Kupp and Higbee
By MadDukes22 >>
- O/U of 40.5 is lowest on the slate. LAR -10 is the largest spread of the week.
- CAR Pace: 58 plays/60 (31st) // 64% pass rate (7th) // 24.7 sec/snap (5th).
- LAR Pace: 64 plays/60 (18th) // 69% pass rate (1st) // 27.2 sec/snap (20th).
- OFF Drive Success Rate: CAR .597 (32nd) // LAR .689 (21st)
- DEF DSR: CAR .694 (14th) // LAR .688 (11th)
- TOP/60: CAR: 25:22 (32nd) // LAR 30:03 (16th)
- 2 Games with more than 18 snaps in his career
- Wk 11 2020 vs DET: 24/34/258/1/2 (12.1 DK pts)
- Wk 10 2021 @ ARI: 22/29/167/0/1 (7.3 DK pts)
- Played with Walker in 2021 @ ARI
- 15 for 95 rush // 10 for 66 rec // 0 TDs (26.1 DK pts)
- 47.4 snaps/g (4th) // 19.6 Touch/g (8th) // 18 OEP/g (3rd)
- 7 TGT/g (1st) // 5 rec/g (2nd) // 37 yds/g (4th)
- Only 10 RZ Opps this season where he scored all 3 of his TDs (2 rush / 1 rec)
- Moore in both Walker games
- Avg: 6 rec / 10 tgt / 75.5 yds / 0 TDs (14.6 DK pts)
- Anderson in both Walker games
- Avg: 5.5 rec / 7.5 tgt / 41.5 yds / 0 TDs (12.65 DK pts)
- WOPR: Moore .58 // Anderson .46
- Moore has between 40-60 yds in 4 of 5 games (2yds vs NO)
- Anderson has less than 35 yds in 4 of 5 games (102yds vs CLE)
- 3rd fewest sacks in NFL (8) but 8th in pressure rate (32%)
- 4th most rush att against
- Avg: 253 yds/g (16th) // 38.4 att/g (8th) // 6.07 air yds/att (30th)
- Second fewest completions of 20+ yds (11) of QBs to play 5 games
- 6th most dropbacks in NFL (217)
- 21 sacks taken already this season // 30 all of last season
- Fewest rushing attempts and yards in NFL
- Henderson has consistently out-snapped Akers (38:21 avg)
- Akers continues to out-touched Henderson (12.5:7 avg) since Wk 2 including 13:4 Wk 5
- Both are avg 8 OEP/g
- Kupp is second in NFL with a .77 WOPR
- Kupp is 1st in DK pts (28.8) // Diggs in 2nd (25.8)
- Kupp Leads NFL in TGT/g (12.8) and rec/g (9.8) // 2nd in yds/g (105.4) and TGT% (33.9)
- Higbee among TEs: TGT% 25.4 (2nd) // RR/g 33 (2nd) // ADOT 3.2 (lowest of any TE with more than 10 RR/g)
- Skowronek Avg: 4/3/36 // Robinson Avg: 4/2/21
- 10 sacks (21st) and 4 INTs (14th) on the season
- 1.12 yards before contact is 2nd lowest in NFL
You must be logged in to view collective notes about a game.
You must be logged in to add notes about a game.