Since Baker Mayfield Took Over, The Rams Offense Has Been On Par With Eagles & Bills. What?

Written By

on

baker mayfield

Statistical evidence now proves that Baker Mayfield has helped the LA Rams offense become…above average!

That’s right, the latest chart put together by the cutting-edge folks at NFLFastR shows that since Mayfield took over the quarterback duties for the Rams the offense has a slightly positive gain on every rushing and passing play.

With Mayfield, who was signed just days before the Week 14 game against the Raiders, the Rams offense is aligned with the 13-3 Philadelphia Eagles on the X-Y graph, and a little bit behind the Bills.

(By the way, if you’re looking at the graphic, basically, you want to be in the top right quadrant…that’s good).

Unfortunately, looking at more traditional stats, the Rams offense ranks 26th overall in points scored and 31st overall in yards per game.

Interestingly, they are No. 1 in the NFL in fourth-down efficiency. Maybe that’s the answer for the Rams, just go for it on every fourth down!

So is Mayfield Mania a statistical anomaly? Or has Mayfield really impacted the Rams offense in a better way? Let’s face it the only interesting question facing the Rams today is what they will do with Mayfield moving forward and whether he’s better than Matthew Stafford.

Stafford vs. Mayfield, By The Numbers

Statistics lie, I know that, you know that, but they’re still a major factor in making a decision like this.

Stafford, fresh off a Super Bowl title, made nine starts for the Rams this year. The 34-year-old averaged 231 yards through the air and the Rams offense averaged 291 total yards when he was in there.

Now Mayfield.

In his four games, the Rams have gained an average of 275 total yards and Mayfield has thrown for 176 a game. That number is kind of skewed positively because of the bad Broncos on Christmas.

Who wins this? Well, the numbers say Stafford, right?

However.

In his nine games, the Rams and Stafford won three times. And remember, Stafford had All-Galaxy wide receiver Cooper Kupp for most of these games.

In his four games, the Rams and Mayfield have won twice. And Mayfield is doing this without a good offensive line or Kupp.

If the Rams beat the Seahawks Sunday, Stafford and Mayfield will each have won three games this season. Isn’t that the stat that counts for the most?

Why The Rams Should Keep Mayfield

Because he’s a younger, more athletic version of Stafford.

Think of how the two quarterbacks are similar. They both went to high school in Texas. They both have the gunslinger tag.

Stafford was drafted No. 1 by the Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft. His teams were never that good, but Stafford piled up plenty of yards and accolades. He even had a bit of a strange relationship with star wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who suddenly retired after the 2015 season.

Stafford received plenty of blame for his time in Detroit, but never backed down and kept firing.

Mayfield was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Browns. He was hailed as the Browns savior. He led them to respectability and the playoffs in 2020. Injuries messed him up, and so did a weird relationship with a star wide receiver: Odell Beckham Jr.

Mayfield is only 27. Stafford is about to be 35. Stafford is probably more physically gifted than Mayfield, but not by much.

And then there is the eye test. You watch Mayfield and you’re like, this guy is in the game, he will run around and try to make plays every chance he gets. He’s easy to root for. His teammates (Beckham Jr. the exception) seem to play hard for him. Put him on a Rams team with a healthy Cooper Kupp and offensive line and watch him shine.

What The Rams Should Ditch Mayfield

There’s just something that’s alarming about Mayfield bouncing from the Browns to the Panthers and now to the Rams. That’s three teams in one calendar year: 2022.

NFL franchises just don’t give up on guys that have talent. And if they do, it’s because they know something everyone else doesn’t.

Look at the Russell Wilson experiment in Denver. Why would Seattle let him go unless they knew that Wilson had lost his fastball and lost the good feelings in the lockerroom?

We only get to see what Mayfield does on Sundays, the Panthers and Browns saw him seven days a week. They know his work habits, his training habits, his level of devotion to be an NFL quarterback. If he was beloved by his teammates and coaches, they’d never let him go.

At some point and time the Browns and Panthers were like “we’re better off without him.”

Mayfield has the ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but the Rams aren’t the place for him. This is just a stopping point.

What Will The Rams Do?

Everyone is going to just finish out the season against the Seahawks (I expect the Rams to lose quietly) and then wait. The first question that must be answered is whether or not Stafford is healthy enough to return next year. Stafford is coming off a spinal cord injury, has been dealing with some arm issues, and well, what is left for him to prove?

Or does he want to come back and prove this year was just an anomaly.

My guess is that Stafford will come back. If he doesn’t the Rams can ride with Mayfield for a while. Five games isn’t a lot to go on to know if Mayfield can be the Rams starter, and it would be interesting to see what he can do with a healthy Rams team around him. But Stafford is option 1, Mayfield is option 2. 

Then it comes down to whether Mayfield would want to stay as a back-up for the Rams. To me, that depends on the money the Rams can pay. That’s the most important statistic of them all.