Projecting Receptions by Position: NFC West

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Los Angeles Rams

2017 Totals
Jared Goff: 296 completions on 477 attempts (15 games)
WR Group: 185 Receptions
RB Group: 69 Receptions
TE Group: 42 Receptions

2018 Projections
Jared Goff: 315 completions on 500 attempts
WR Group: 195 Receptions
RB Group: 70 Receptions
TE Group: 50 Receptions

What a difference a head coach makes. With pretty much the same team as Jeff Fisher, Sean McVay completely turned this offense around into a powerhouse. And as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The only noteworthy changes to the offense are that Tavon Austin has been shipped out and Sammy Watkins has been swapped for Brandin Cooks. Technically we could include the loss of offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, but – while he did play a role in developing Jared Goff – this was Sean McVay’s offense from the beginning. On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has to be absolutely giddy from all his new toys. He’s missing a few linebackers, but it’s not far-fetched to say that this defense should pick up right where Phillips left off in Denver. Normally I’d say the improved defense should reduce the number of pass attempts by Goff, but Goff was already toward the bottom of the league in attempts (on pace for 508 had he played week 17). I also don’t think the running game will pick up that much as Todd Gurley can only carry the ball so many times before the wheels fall off, and there really isn’t anyone of note behind him (Malcolm Brown anyone? Or maybe 6th round pick John Kelly?). I figure Goff stays fairly consistent on the low end of the pass attempts spectrum with 500 over the course of the season. With the solid defense taking some more pressure off him, I would expect Goff’s accuracy to rise ever so slightly to 63%, which comes out to 315 completions.

As mentioned above, not much has changed with this offense to make me believe that there’s a major shift in target shares coming. Tavon Austin did more as a runner last season than as a receiver, and replacing Sammy Watkins with Brandin Cooks is by default no worse than a lateral move as Cooks more than likely will actually play a full season. I have faith that the young TE duo of Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee will continue to grow, but for their numbers to improve someone else has to lose targets. I just don’t see that happening.

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