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The Rams offense is killing ESPN’s preseason analytics

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The Los Angeles Rams’ offense put up big numbers for the second time in three weeks proving analytics wrong.

Prior to the start of the season, ESPN analytics projected the Rams to have the NFL’s worst offense. The numbers told them that an offense with Jared Goff under center specifically would rank L.A. the lowest, suggesting that the Rams had a better chance of winning with backup QB Sean Mannion.

In this case the numbers lied. Or they didn’t take into account the sophomore leap Goff has taken so far.

Goff threw for 292 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers and in week 1 he threw for 300+ yards and a TD with no turnovers. He’s leading his team to victory and shaping up to be worth the No. 1 overall pick from last year’s draft after a shaky rookie season.

A big part of Goff’s development has to be credited to L.A.’s new head coach Sean McVay’s offensive schemes. McVay likely got the HC job based on how much he helped Kirk Cousins develop when he was with the Washington Redskins.

But McVay hasn’t just positively affected the QB. He’s also brought Todd Gurley back to form after Gurley had to suffer last year through Jeff Fisher’s “middle school” offense. Week 3 against the Niners, Gurley ran in two touchdowns and also caught a pass in the end zone. So far Gurley has rushed for six TDs through three games–he had six in total last year–so it’s safe to say McVay’s offense is working.

The Rams also traded with the Buffalo Bills for WR Sammy Watkins before the start of the season. Watkins is a new weapon for L.A. that ESPN didn’t account for in their metrics. Week 3 he displayed his elite-level playmaking skills when he connected with Goff on a long ball.

With the Rams’ offense clicking and establishing a rhythm, they’re crushing ESPN’s analytic projections for them this season. They are currently 1st in offense in the NFL and 6th in total yards. 

Week 4 L.A. has a big test on the road against the Dallas Cowboys, which will be a great measure of where they are as a team. For now, however, they’re outplaying expectations and look like a team that’s turning a corner.

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