2016 NFL Preview: Los Angeles Rams

The St. Louis Rams are gone. The Los Angeles Rams are back. With a new city, a new QB, and the same old mustached coach still around, what can we expect from these guys this season?

Can Jeff Fisher get this team back to the playoffs for the first time in over ten years?

Can Jared Goff move up the depth chart and develop as a franchise QB?

Will the Rams give the “City of Angels” something to cheer for this year?

Let’s find out!

 

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Los Angeles Rams

The Stats:

Record Last Ten Seasons: 7-9 (2015), 6-10 (2014), 7-9 (2013), 7-8-1 (2012), 2-14 (2011), 7-9 (2010), 1-15 (2009), 2-14 (2008), 3-13 (2007), 8-8 (2006)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2004 Divisional vs. Atlanta Falcons

Last Playoff Win: 2004 Wildcard vs. Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl Titles Won: 1 (Super Bowl XXXIV)

Passing Leader for 2015: Nick Foles (2,052 yards, 7 touchdowns, 10 interceptions)

Rushing Leader for 2015: Todd Gurley (1,106 yards, 10 touchdowns)

Receiving Leader for 2015: Kenny Britt (681 yards, 3 touchdowns)

The Head Coach:

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Jeff Fisher

Overall Record (as a head coach): 169-156-1

Record With Team: 27-36-1

Previous NFL Jobs: Chicago Bears Defensive Assistant (1985), Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Backs Coach (1986-1987), Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator (1988-1990), Los Angeles Rams Defensive Coordinator (1991), San Francisco 49ers Defensive Backs Coach (1992-1993), Houston Oilers Defensive Coordinator & Interim Head Coach (1994), Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans Head Coach (1995-2010)

My Grade: C

The Team:

(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)

Player Grade Guide:

Blue = Elite Player

Green = Really Good Player

Orange = Average Player

Pink = Meh

Red = NO THANKS

Gray = Rookie

Offense:

QB: Case Keenum

RB: Todd Gurley

WR: Tavon Austin

WR: Kenny Britt

TE: Lance Kendricks

TE: Tyler Higbee

OC: Tim Barnes

OG: Rodger Saffold

OG: Jamon Brown

OT: Rob Havenstein

OT: Greg Robinson

Defense:

DE: William Hayes

DT: Aaron Donald

DT: Michael Brockers

DE: Robert Quinn

LB: Alec Ogletree

LB: Mark Barron

LB: Akeem Ayers

CB: Trumaine Johnson

CB: E.J. Gaines

SS: T.J. McDonald

FS: Cody Davis

The Schedule:

vs. @ San Francisco 49ers (September 12)

vs. Seattle Seahawks (September 18)

vs. @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (September 25)

vs. @ Arizona Cardinals (October 2)

vs. Buffalo Bills (October 9)

vs. @ Detroit Lions (October 16)

vs. New York Giants (October 23)

BYE WEEK

vs. Carolina Panthers (November 6)

vs. @ New York Jets (November 13)

vs. Miami Dolphins (November 20)

vs. @ New Orleans Saints (November 27)

vs. @ New England Patriots (December 4)

vs. Atlanta Falcons (December 11)

vs. @ Seattle Seahawks (December 15)

vs. San Francisco 49ers (December 24)

vs. Arizona Cardinals (January 1)

The Prediction:

6-10

Brief Synopsis:

Welcome back to Los Angeles, NFL football! It’s been over twenty years since the NFL last played a game in the City of Angels, but that’s all going to change this year as the Rams returned to Los Angeles this past off-season. With NFL football finally back in L.A., what can we expect from the Rams this season? They have a new franchise quarterback in Jared Goff, but as of right now….he doesn’t look anywhere near ready to play. Should Rams fans already be worried that he’s a bust? Can Jeff Fisher get this team over the 7-9 hump he’s been stuck on since arriving in Los Ang…..errrr St. Louis five years ago? Let’s take a closer look.

Offensively, the Rams are hot garbage. I’m not the kind of guy who over-reacts to stuff (that’s a lie), but Jared Goff starting out the season THIRD on the depth chart should be extremely worrisome to Rams fans. The QB trend in the NFL the last few seasons with rookies is that the really good ones are ready to play immediately. Guys like Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck, & even Robert Griffin III showed signs that they were ready to play NFL football from the start. Goff being the #1 overall pick should at least be fighting for the starting spot. While I’m nowhere near ready to abandon ship on the kid, I’m at least a little concerned about his future. I’m not sure he has the intelligence to hang in the NFL. As far as the rest of the offense, it’s a mess. The offensive line might be the worst in the league. As a matter of fact, outside of Todd Gurley, there’s not a single player on this offense that I would want on my team (Tavon Austin could potentially be better in a different offense though). When it comes to scoring points this year, this team is going to struggle.

Defensively though, the Rams are well off. This unit has been one of the best in the NFL the last few seasons and that trend should continue. They have arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. William Hayes, Michael Brockers, and Robert Quinn are all really good players. Aaron Donald is probably the best defensive player in the NFL (sorry J.J. Watt). And the team is definitely well off in the secondary. The only concern I have with the Rams defense is the linebackers. They are extremely inconsistent and need to be better if Los Angeles wants to turn this unit into a top 10 one. The potential is there and if the Rams somehow do sneak into the playoffs this season, it will definitely be because of the defense.

So, what should we expect from the Rams as they return to Los Angeles for the first time in over twenty years? More of the same, that’s what. This is a Jeff Fisher coached team people. You know what you’re getting out of Jeff Fisher coached teams by now. You’re getting a good defensive team with a lackluster offensive that is going to finish around the 7-9 mark. It’s a staple for Fisher teams. If you’re a Rams fan, here’s what you should be cheering for this season. You should be cheering for Jared Goff’s development. Your team gave up a ton of draft picks to take this guy #1 in the NFL Draft. If he doesn’t pan out, that’s going to set your franchise back along time. You know who can’t afford to have their NFL team take a gigantic step back? A team that hasn’t made the playoffs in over 12 years, that’s who. Expect more misery this season, Rams fans.

One thought on “2016 NFL Preview: Los Angeles Rams

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