This Sean McVay Stat is Highly Concerning for Rams Fans

With all eyes on the roster during the Rams' recent slide, maybe Sean McVay should be taking more of the blame.
With all eyes on the roster during the Rams' recent slide, maybe Sean McVay should be taking more of the blame. / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams went from 7-1 to 7-4 real quick after the NFL season hit its midway point. After losing just once in their first eight games, the Rams looked poised to make a postseason run with Matthew Stafford and Co. Then, something happened.

Then, things went sideways. First was a loss to the Titans 28-16. Weird, but no big deal, losses happen. However, they followed that loss up by getting crushed by the San Fransisco 49ers 31-10. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers then ruined the Rams’ chance of a bounce-back game, beating them 36-28 last week off of a bye week.

So, what gives? Why has this Rams team gone from contender to pretenders in three weeks? As usual, Twitter provides us, stat nerds, with a potential reason for this decline. As per The Guardian’s Ollie Connolly, Sean McVay might be the crux of the problem here. 

As Connolly points out, the expected points added figures for teams that McVay coaches decline sharply after Week 9. Expected points added, or EPA, is a metric that measures how well a team does when compared to expectations.

It is a little confusing but an example would be if the Rams start a drive on the 50, they could be expected to walk away with 3.0 points on average. If they manage to score a touchdown and hit the XP, that would be 7.0 points. Therefore, the EPA would be 4.0. If they fail to score, their EPA would be -3.0 as a result. 

The important thing to understand about EPA in this case is how drastically McVay’s teams fall off the pace in the second half. 

Since taking over in 2017, McVay’s rams went from 2nd to 19th after Week 9 in terms of EPA per play, 2nd to 21st in dropback EPA, and 1st to 12th in rushing success. 

While these figures don’t answer the question as to why McVey’s teams crumble in the second half, they do tell a story. And that story is that, for whatever reason, the Rams are not a second-half team and should be bet on accordingly.

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