NFL News & Analysis

Relive the Los Angeles Rams' Super Bowl run with PFF

Jan 20, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman (23) hoists the George Halas Trophy after defeating the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams prepare for Super Bowl LIII, get ready for kickoff with Pro Football Focus’ recap of the Rams' Super Bowl run.

The PFF analysis team has graded every snap taken by every NFL player since the 2006 season. With that incredible breadth of data collected, our team has seen some exceptional season performances by players at the quarterback position, with some of those best marks belonging to Patriots QB Tom Brady. On the other side of the ball, Rams QB Jared Goff will enter the game with the eighth-highest grade of the season among players at the position, and when the two meet on Sunday for Super Bowl LIII, the 17-year difference between the two will be the largest difference in a Super Bowl ever.

Let Pro Football Focus take you back through the Los Angeles Rams' 2018 season, as we recap all the statistics and storylines that led to the team's Super Bowl berth.

PFF Forecast: Super Bowl Preview

From the PFF Forecast, Pro Football Focus Data Scientists Eric Eager and George Chahrouri, preview Super Bowl 53. Watch via our YouTube channel here…

Old school vs. New school: Tom Brady set to face off against Jared Goff in Super Bowl LIII

When the two meet on Sunday for Super Bowl LIII, the 17-year difference between the quarterbacks will be the largest difference in a Super Bowl ever, but how do these two quarterbacks, who are at the opposite ends of their respective careers, compare statistically? Well, thanks to PFF’s 2019 QB annual, we can find out. Read more…

Is Aqib Talib the Rams' Key to Slowing Down Brady?


Of all the matchups to analyze and evaluate for Super Bowl LIII, none may be more familiar with each other than New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib. Not only are they former teammates from 2012-2013 in New England, but Sunday will mark the seventh time the two have squared off as opponents and the second time ever in the postseason. So why is this a matchup to watch? Brady has struggled over his career when targeting Talib in coverage, mustering a passer rating of only 61.9. Read more…

Justice is served as Whitworth is set to make his first Super Bowl appearance

Coming into the 2018 season, Andrew Whitworth ranked highly on the list that no player wants any part of; best players to never play in a Super Bowl. However, thanks to another dominant season-long performance at left tackle, the 13-year All-Pro will take the field against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. Read more…

PFF Forecast: Super Bowl Prop Bets

From the PFF Forecast, Pro Football Focus Data Scientists Eric Eager and George Chahrouri, discuss some interesting prop bets for Super Bowl 53. Watch on our YouTube channel here.

The kick that did it

It was this kick that put the Rams back in the Super Bowl!

Relive the Rams' dramatic NFC Championship win

Senior analysts Steve Palazzolo and Sam Monson, from their NFL Podcast, discuss the recent win the Los Angeles Rams had against the New Orleans Saints. Watch on our YouTube channel here:

The Super Bowl slot duel could be the key to victory for either team

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman has seen his name in the news frequently over the past two weeks. The sixth-year man will forever be associated with running over New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis for a sure-fire pass interference that would have iced the NFC Championship in the Saints’ favor — but instead, a penalty wasn’t called, eventually leading to the Rams moving on. Read more…

Highlighting the NFL's most versatile players in 2018

At 6-3, 240 pounds, Everett is the definition of a tweener. He’s too short to be an every-down inline tight end but too big to really be considered a receiver. Still, he’s a fantastic athlete who is excellent after the catch with six broken tackles on 35 catches this season. As such, the Rams lined him up anywhere they saw fit. Everett took 261 snaps inline, 55 from the slot, 126 out wide and even 16 from the backfield. Read More…

Who gets the last laugh?

The slot matchup between Nickell Robey-Coleman and Julian Edelman will be key in deciding the winner of Super Bowl LIII. If history is anything to go by, Robey-Coleman will have his work cut out for him.

On the money

Jared Goff's accuracy numbers from this past season, as depicted in our 2019 PFF QB Annual. For your copy:

John Johnson III has evolved into a dynamic cover safety for the Rams

In his first season with the Rams, Johnson III surpassed his college numbers in multiple facets. On 41 targets, he notched eight pass breakups, the same total he had at Boston College from 2014-2017 on 109 targets. In terms of yards per completion allowed, he reduced his three-year college average (13.1) to just 9.8 yards in his rookie year with the Rams. Read more…

One of the greatest

Aaron Donald has consistently been one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL.

Safe hands

The Rams' receivers had the lowest drop rate in the league. It was less than half as much as all but four other teams.

Same old, same old

Some things never change – Jared Goff has dropped back to pass more on play-action dropbacks than any other QB both this regular season and in the playoffs.

Aaron Donald, taking home all the awards

In the 2018 NFL season there really is no question who the best player in the game was, and what is remarkable is that he took his game to another level from an already ridiculous starting point. Aaron Donald was the single most destructive force in the game from his interior alignment on the Rams defensive line, and his performance earned the PFF award for Defensive Player of the Year, the award Best Pass Rusher and the Stephenson Award. Read more…

Game Wrecker

You’ve surely seen the stats repeated ad nauseam on PFF’s site and Twitter account. 106 pressures. 25.9 percent win rate. Both head and shoulders above anyone else in the NFL. What hasn’t been repeated is exactly what makes him so special. The short answer is everything. Read more…

Racking them up from the slot

In the regular season – Robert Woods managed to haul in 40 receptions from the slot – which was good enough to rank inside the top 20.

The Rams will hope that Marcus Peters keeps up his late-season performance against the deep ball

Marcus Peters had a rough start to his first season with the Los Angeles Rams. Through the first nine weeks of the season, he allowed the second-most receiving yards (591), the second-most touchdown receptions (six), the fifth-highest passer rating on throws into his overage (145.2) and he earned the fourth-worst coverage grade (39.9) among cornerbacks in that span. However, the last seven weeks were another story, as he earned the eighth-highest coverage grade among cornerbacks (80.1) from Week 10 to Week 17 and he allowed the seventh-lowest passer rating on throws into his primary coverage (52.9). Read more…

Old faithful

The postseason's two highest-graded tackles square off in the Super Bowl as Andrew Whitworth leads the pack.

Ndamukong Suh proving to be the disruptor that the Rams coveted

Last offseason, the Los Angeles Rams demonstrated they were in win-now mode with the acquisitions of cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, but the move to sign Ndamukong Suh along the defensive line seemed to put the defense over the top with a run to the Super Bowl in mind. By lining up next to perennial All-Pro and PFF Defensive Player of the YearAaron Donald, Suh was brought in to help form the most dominant interior defensive front in the NFL. Read more…

Greg The Leg

Any surprise that Greg Zuerlein is the postseason's highest-graded kicker so far?

Racking up the run stops

John Johnson was a real threat in the regular season to thwart the opposing rushing attack – ranking third with 19 run stops.

Rams’ Robert Woods drawing significant praise amidst career in Hollywood

Woods finished the regular season with an 88.0 overall grade, which ranked eighth among the 99 NFL wideouts with at least 400 offensive snaps played in 2018, and it marks a career-high for the six-year USC product. He had previously earned single-season grades of 71.4 or lower in his four years with the Buffalo Bills (2013-16) and a 79.1 overall grade in his first year with the Rams in 2017. Read more…

A healthy Talib is critical to Rams’ postseason success

Aqib Talib has proven himself to be one of the top cornerbacks in the league over recent seasons. Since the start of 2016, he is tied for the fourth-highest defensive grade among all cornerbacks with A.J. Bouye. Over that time, he has allowed a passer rating of just 67.2 on passes into his coverage, ranking third-best among the 111 cornerbacks who have seen at least 100 targets over that span, while his forced incompletion rate over the last three seasons of 19.6% ranks 11th among the same group. Needless to say, Talib is an impact player on the perimeter of any secondary. Read more…

The best in business?

Andrew Whitworth's career pass-blocking grades – yeah, that guy is something special.

2018 NFL playcaller ranking

The other half of the coaching duo that orchestrated the league’s best game of the season, McVay has to be on any list that includes coaches moving the needle league-wide. In addition to taking Jared Goff from a cluster 6 quarterback as a rookie to a cluster 2 quarterback today, he’s made running the football so easy for Toddy Gurley (1.9 yards per carry before contact) that there are legitimate members of the media that are considering voting for a running back for league MVP. The Rams are one of only three teams in the NFL with positive expected points added in both the early-down passing game and running game, and appear to be an engine to reckon with for the foreseeable future. Read more…

Dominating man coverage

Jared Goff performed very well against man coverage during the regular season this year.

Breaking down the NFC Playoff Picture

The Rams have punched their ticket to the postseason, but a loss to the San Francisco 49ers and a Chicago Bears win on Sunday would strip them of their first-round bye. Expect Jared Goff and Todd Gurley (if healthy) to at least play their way to a comfortable lead against the 49ers before the duo and other Los Angeles starters see the bench. Read more…

Gurley working from the slot

No running back lined up in the slot more than Todd Gurley in 2018.

The anti-Brady?

Aaron Donald – recipient of our best pass rusher award – led the league with 33 quarterback pressures in the fourth quarter and overtime this season.

NFL secondary rankings: All 32 teams after 17 weeks

While Marcus Peters grabbed a lot of the headlines for his up and down play this year, two other guys quietly had outstanding seasons for Los Angeles. John Johnson III is quickly making a name for himself as one of the best safeties in the league after picking off four passes and breaking up seven others this season. Nickell Robey-Coleman, on the other hand, still doesn’t get the respect he deserves as one of the most consistent slot corners in the league after earning an 82.6 overall grade this year. Read more…

Going deep

Since the 2016 season – no receiver has hauled in more yards on deep passes than Brandin Cooks.

Final list of PFF's highest-graded quarterbacks in the NFL in 2018

Goff had a career year with coach Sean McVay and the Rams in 2018. He was so much more than a system QB, as he finished eighth in the NFL in clean-pocket big-time throw percentage (5.45%) on the year. Read more…

Instant takeaways from Los Angeles Rams’ trade for Dante Fowler Jr.

The Los Angeles Rams are effectively going all in on 2018 just days after they took down the Green Bay Packers. Los Angeles has traded their 2019 third-round pick as well as their 2020 fifth-round pick for former Jacksonville edge defender Dante Fowler, per Adam SchefterRead more…

Robert Woods, the unsung hero of the Rams' high-powered offense

At 7-0, the Los Angeles Rams have seen positive contributions from all 53 players on the roster. And as the offense continues to feast amid the defense’s stellar performances, wide receiver Robert Woods has particularly made his presence felt as a threat over the middle of the field. Read more…

The Rams haven’t just lost a receiver, they’ve lost one of the best slot weapons in the NFL

Late in his team’s Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks, Kupp set off on a go route against cornerback Shaquill Griffin. The ball didn’t come his way, but it didn’t matter; he lost his footing upon contact with the former UCF defensive back and fell to the turf in the same manner as he did four weeks earlier. This time, there would be no coming back. The morning after the game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed the Rams’ biggest fear. The star wide receiver had indeed torn his ACL, and he would now miss the remainder of the 2018 season. Read more…

QB Breakdown: Goff, Mahomes, and Mayfield

Senior analysts Zac Robinson and Steve Palazzolo breakdown three different QBs in the NFL: Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes, and Jared Goff. Zac and Steve discuss what these three QBs do well and how the systems they're in could be helping or hurting each QB. Watch on our YouTube channel here. 

How good are the Rams?

Senior analysts Steve Palazzolo and Sam Monson talk Rams football and what is making them look to be a dominant team in the NFL. Steve and Sam talk about both offensive and defensive key players so far this year. Watch on our YouTube channel here. 

Go heavy or spread them out? NFL’s two best run-blocking teams getting it done differently

Running back talk is provocative nowadays. It gets the people going. Statements like, “Todd Gurley should win MVP” are sure to generate strong opinions on both sides. Our own Eric Eager recently did an excellent job of laying out why Gurley, nor any running back, is the most valuable player in the NFL. Part of the reason why is that their success as a runner is tied very closely to the effectiveness of the men blocking for them. Gurley, or any other running back, can only do so much if they are constantly being met by defenders in the backfield, i.e. 2016 Gurley. Read more…

Injuries to Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib to test Los Angeles Rams' secondary depth

With a game coming on Thursday night against another NFC contender in the Minnesota Vikings, the Rams will be without one or both of their new-look cornerbacks. Both Peters and Talib went down with injuries to varying degrees in their Week 3 meeting with Los Angeles Chargers. Peters suffered a calf strain that was initially thought to sideline him two to four weeks but has since been upgraded to day-to-day and a game-day decision in Week 4. Talib, on the other hand, got placed on the injured reserve Wednesday after suffering a high ankle sprain that will require surgery, and he will miss considerable time, if not the season, for the Rams. Read more…

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.

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