Friday, September 23, 2016

Los Angeles Rams Weekly

I don't think I have ever felt depressed and battered after a Ram win ever in my life, until last Sunday's 9-3 victory against the Seattle Seahawks

Let us please be real about what is up with the team. It does not take a genius to figure out the main link that is not working and further, it is the only facet of the team that is not working. Plus, that weakness is trickling out in horrible ways for the team. 

It is at QB

The defense is insane and they obviously played amazing last week holding a Seattle team to a mere field goal all game. 

The offense is working only mediocre as far as the system goes (i.e.: still many dumb penalty's trying to get the plays off, etc.). Obviously, Todd Gurley is not doing well so far this year but it is ONLY because the Quarterback situation is so bad that any defense can stack it vs. the run on every play. Even when a ball is thrown to a WR, it is maybe an 8 yard pass play to the outside. It looks painful when Case Keenum tries to throw a decent pass down field. The passes to the side lines that are glorified run plays, the ball flails every time before it gets to the receiver. There is zero zip on the ball. 

This could be changed by playing Jarad Goff. There is no reason not to play him. To sit here and live our life waiting for the next injury to occur is stupid. It is ridiculous quite frankly. He needs to play and honestly, he needs to start. Then, watch how the team gels after we have a viable quarterback that can throw the ball longer than 15 yards down field. 

The trickle outward effect I mention above because of it is awful. 

We cannot run the ball because the D's are keying on Gurley. 

We cant do any trick plays because the receiver cannot get around to the other side of the field fast enough because again, the defenses just need to key on the run game on every play. 

It has not been fun yet and I would go so far to say that it has been frustrating so far watching the team play. And, the answer is sitting on the bench game after game.

Regardless, here is your Los Angeles Weekly report!
Community Player of the Week: Alec Ogletree. The Los Angeles Rams announced Alec Ogletree as the Rams Community Player of the Week for week 2 in recognition of his community outreach efforts throughout the season.

Ogletree, a fourth year linebacker from Newnan, GA., attended the University of Georgia and became the 10th linebacker drafted by the Rams in the first round since 1937. After emerging as a leader on the field, he was named a 2016 Rams team captain.  He has also embraced the opportunity to become one of the team’s off the field leaders and this week, he served as the event chair for the #RamsNightForWishes in partnership with the Los Angeles Make-A-Wish Foundation. On his own time, Ogletree also holds annual turkey drives and back-to-school drives in his hometown. 

Q & A with Alec Ogletree

Why is your involvement as an honorary chair for the Los Angeles Make-A-Wish Foundation important?
It is important to me because it is a chance for the fans to see us outside of football and we also get a good opportunity to grant kids their wish. With me being a father now, I want to be able to grant my kid anything that he ever could wish for, so for us to partner with the Los Angeles Make-A-Wish Foundation is definitely something special. 

As a captain for the Rams, how do you feel it is your job to show leadership on and off the field?
I think it’s important. We have a stage and a platform that a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to have. I’m happy I have the opportunity to shed light on doing positive things in the community. Growing up I always said that I wanted to give back somehow and now I have the platform to be an example. I try to take every opportunity that I can to make that happen. 

What are you most looking forward to getting involved with in Los Angeles?
I’m open to doing a lot of stuff right now. I’ve been doing a Turkey Drive in Georgia and this year will mark the third year. Hopefully I can start one out here soon. I have also done a back-to-school drive where I gave out 500 book bags to a couple schools back home. There are many different reasons why being involved is special. I don’t necessarily have one set cause that I’m interested in. I just want to be part of the community in any way that I can. 

Is there anyone in particular that inspires you to be involved?
Back home my father, my mom, my uncles and much of my family were heavily involved in the community. I used to be one of the kids that they brought around to different places to show how we could give back to the community in so many different ways. That was probably my biggest inspiration. They paved the way for me. 

Get to know Alec Ogletree

•    Probably 10

Pregame snack?
•    Twizzlers and Gatorade

Favorite TV Show growing up?
(Here are four because he couldn’t choose one.)
•    Family Matters
•    Dukes of Hazard
•    Martin
•    Fresh Prince

What is your favorite vacation spot and where would you like to travel to?
•    Favorite spot: Hawaii 
•    Travel to: Brazil 

Which one of your teammates would you let babysit your son?
•    I wouldn’t let anybody babysit my son! We have some fathers on the team and I’m sure they would be fine, but no one specific comes to mind. 

About the Rams Community Player of the Week Presented by Wells Fargo
Each week during the 2016 regular season, the Los Angeles Rams select a player to honor as the Rams Community Player of the Week. The program, presented by Wells Fargo, is intended to recognize players for the positive impact they make off the field and their commitment to serving the Greater Los Angeles Area.

 
“At Wells Fargo we believe our long-term success is directly linked to the success of the communities we serve,” said David DiCristofaro, Wells Fargo region president for Greater Los Angeles. 

In 2015, Wells Fargo team members volunteered more than 41,800 hours in the LA area. This week, the organization is proud to recognize Wells Fargo Community Player of the Week, Bellflower branch manager Danielle Sanders for her leadership in coordinating a backpack drive for more than 275 at-risk youth and their families. For more information on Wells Fargo’s commitment to community service, visit https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/corporate-responsibility/community-giving/

The Rams partnered with the Make A Wish Los Angeles Foundation for an amazing night. Phtos taken by Ric Tapia.
PHOTOS: Rams Night for Wishes

PHOTOS: Rams Kickoff for Charity Luncheon
Rams Win L.A. Homecoming. On a day full of emotion for the NFL’s first game in Los Angeles in over 20 years, the Rams turned in a strong defensive performance to beat the Seahawks, 9-3.

With an announced crowd of 91,046, Los Angeles did not allow Seattle to get into a rhythm throughout the contest, holding the visitors to 31 percent (4-of-13) in third-down efficiency. The Seahawks ran only 61 plays, rushing for just 67 yards on 24 carries as the Rams picked up seven tackles for loss. Quarterback Russell Wilson finished 22-of-35 for 254 yards passing, and there were few rushing lanes open for him as he registered five carries for 14 yards. L.A. got to Wilson for 2.0 sacks and eight quarterback hits.

“That was a great win for us for all of those obvious reasons,” head coach Jeff Fisher said after the game. “Our first game back here, the fans were incredible. It made this a tough to play starting day one, which was really impressive.”

The crowd was of particular importance once the game had fewer than two minutes in the second half. With the Rams up by six, the Seahawks got the ball back on their own 12-yard line with 1:53 left and only one timeout remaining. Wilson started the possession with a 53-yard pass to wide receiver Tyler Lockett, placing Seattle on Los Angeles’ 35-yard line. But from there the L.A. defense dug in. After a Wilson incompletion, the cheering of 90,000-plus helped induce a false start penalty on tight end Jimmy Graham to make 2nd-and-10, 2nd-and-15.

“We need that,” middle linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “We got them to do a couple false starts and I know it was loud in there and it was hard for them to hear, so we definitely appreciate that.”

On third down, Ogletree would help seal the victory. Wilson completed a pass over the middle to running back Christine Michael, but the middle linebacker and linebacker Mark Barron combined to force the ball out before Michael could reach the first-down marker. Ogletree picked up the fumble, and with a few kneel downs, the Rams had their first victory of the year.

“It kind of happened so fast,” Ogletree said of the takeaway. “I just saw him check it down and I just ran down. Mark did a good job of containing it and it came back to me, and we were able to get the ball and get our offense the ball to get in victory formation.”

With four field goals the only scoring, Sunday’s contest was clearly a matchup of two teams that know one another well and play each other evenly. Plenty of the final statistics bear that out, as the Rams and Seahawks finished with similar numbers in first downs (17 each), offensive plays run (61 for Seattle, 58 for Los Angeles), yards rushing (67 for Seattle, 64 for Los Angeles), and time of possession (30:03 for Seattle, 29:57 for Los Angeles) — to name a few categories.

“We match-up well against them, and strange things happen in these games, too,” Fisher said. “I mean, we beat them a couple of years ago without scoring [an offensive] touchdown. … [We] just figure out a way to beat them.”

“They did a nice job, again,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. “I have to give them credit.”

While the offense was able to improve production enough to win the game, the Rams have not scored a touchdown through the first two games of the season.

“There are some realities to where we are right now,” Fisher said. “We’re 1-1 in the division and we haven’t scored a touchdown yet. We need to score some touchdowns, so we’ll keep working on that.”

“Obviously, I like touchdowns,” quarterback Case Keenum said, “but I love winning.”

Keenum raised his numbers to 18-of-30 for 239 yards — good for an 85.3 rating. He mentioned the offense had opportunities that it did not capitalize on, including a 3rd-and-goal play in the second quarter where the quarterback’s pass fell short and incomplete to wide receiver Kenny Britt.

“We had a chance on that third down to Kenny,” Keenum said. “I underthrew him. I think we had a good play on and just missed.”

Still, Keenum and Britt were able to hook up six times for 94 yards, making Britt the Rams’ leading receiver for Week 2. While Britt had an early drop on a third-down play that would’ve moved the sticks, Keenum continued to go back to his 6-foot-3 target.

“I knew all week Kenny was going to play real well. He was hungry this week,” Keenum said. “He had some really big catches there. Even battling through the drop on the third down, which I immediately told him that, ‘I’m coming to you again.’”

“I remember the big plays, but I also remember the third-down drop, so being more consistent — that’s what we need to do as a group, as a receiving group,” Fisher said. “But he made some big plays and the throws were there.”

It was tough sledding for Todd Gurley once again, as the second-year running back was held to just 51 yards on 19 carries. Gurley did take a screen pass 19 yards, showing his versatility. And Los Angeles’ willingness to continue handing off to the 2015 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year appeared to open up play-action passes.

One such play went to tight end Lance Kendricks for a 44-yard gain in the second quarter that, at first glance at least, looked a lot like a play Kendricks turned into a 37-yard touchdown in last year’s home opener.

“I know the play — we ran it last year a few times,” Kendricks said. “But it’s a play that just kind of gets me out the back door, kind of sneak out and find me open. So it worked. It always doesn’t go our way, but it worked today.”

Enough worked throughout the game for the Rams to come away with a win. It started well for both the offense and defense as L.A. scored a field goal on the contest’s opening possession then forced a Seattle three-and-out. 

Keenum was 5-of-7 on the first drive for 40 yards, as kicker Greg Zuerlein capped it off with a 39-yard strike between the uprights.

Defensive end William Hayes and defensive tackle Aaron Donald started the game with tackles for loss, creating a 3rd-and-21. Seattle’s screen play was well short for the three-and-out.

After that, both offenses mainly traded punts throughout the first half, but Seattle did score a field goal of its own early in the second quarter to the tie game at three.

Los Angeles got back on the board with a field goal late in the second quarter to take the lead. Gurley got the possession going with his 19-yard screen, then a pair of run plays netted the Rams another first down past midfield. Zuerlein would hit a 28-yard field to put the home team ahead, 6-3.

The Rams closed the scoring in the fourth quarter with Zuerlein’s third field goal. Keenum started the drive with a 27-yard pass to wide receiver Tavon Austin that moved L.A. from its own 13 to its 40-yard line. The quarterback also hit Britt with an 18-yard pass to move the offense deeper into Seattle territory. Zuerlein connected 47-yards out to give the Rams a 9-3 lead.

From there, Los Angeles was able to use its four-minute offense to maintain possession for much of the fourth quarter. Keenum turned in two first-down throws to Britt, one for 18 yards, and another for 11 yards. At one point it looked like Keenum would be sacked on 3rd-and-long, but a Seattle facemask penalty instead gave Los Angeles 15 yards and a first down.

While Los Angeles couldn’t finish the game out on offense, Ogletree’s fumble recovery provided a fitting end to a defensive slugfest.

“We pride ourselves in winning games,” Ogletree said. “When the defense goes out there at the las possession to win the game, we take pride in being that defense out there that’s going to win the game.”

Having evened their record at 1-1, the Rams will head east next weekend for the first time this season to face the 1-1 Buccaneers.

“It was a great win, but we’ve got another challenge next week,” Ogletree said. “So we’re going to enjoy this for the day and get ready for next week.”

Five Takeaways: Rams 9-3 Win Over Seahawks. The Rams evened their season record in their first home opener in Los Angeles in over two decades with a 9-3 victory over the Seahawks. After Sunday, the Rams have now beaten Seattle three straight times and four of their last five meetings.

Here five takeaways from a game between division rivals that came down to field goals.

1) Defensive strength
There’s no question Los Angeles won its Week 2 matchup with Seattle in large part because of the club’s defensive play. The Rams allowed only three points to a Seahawks offense that was among the NFL’s most explosive for the second half of the 2015 season. Granted, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was playing with an ankle injury. But L.A. still did not allow a touchdown, surrendered just 67 yards rushing on 24 attempts, recorded seven tackles for loss, sacked Wilson twice, and tallied eight quarterback hits.

That’s a far cry from the 28 points and 28 first downs the 49ers recorded on the Rams’ defense in Week 1.

“Last week, we were definitely disappointed with our play. But at the end of the day, we had to put it behind us because that game was over,” defensive end Robert Quinn said. He recorded his first sack/fumble of the season on Wilson to end the first half. “We knew we had to play better and we used how bad we played the first game for a little motivation. We realized we need more from everybody and I think everyone stood up today and made a play when needed.”

The game came down to the defense needing a stop in the last two minutes, and the unit delivered a turnover at the game’s most critical moment — forcing and recovering a fumble to seal the victory.

“When the defense goes out there at the last possession to win the game, we take pride in being that defense out there that’s going to win the game,” said middle linebacker Alec Ogletree, who recovered the loose ball.

As has been the blueprint for the Rams for years under head coach Jeff Fisher, this game was another example of the defense leading the way for the club to win.

2) Offense provides enough to win
Los Angeles’ offense improved in enough aspects from Week 1 to Week 2 to come away victorious. Quarterback Case Keenum finished 18-of-30 passing for 239 yards, good for an 85.3 rating. Tight end Lance Kendricks caught four passes for 61 yards, wide receiver Tavon Austin caught five for 50 yards, and wide receiver Kenny Britt led the way with six receptions for 94 yards.

Britt and Keenum have shown solid chemistry over the Rams’ last six games. In that time, they’ve hooked up 20 times for 397 yards and two touchdowns — an average of 19.9 yard per reception.

“I love throwing him the ball,” Keenum said.

Los Angeles was able to sustain drives better throughout the contest, which was instrumental in getting the team a victory. The club’s opening drive went nine plays, as did its final drive of the first half — both of which resulted in field goals. In the second half, L.A. had drives of eight, nine, five, and 10 plays before taking a pair of knees to end the game.

Those sustained drives help out the defense in staying fresh down the stretch.

“Our offense, they had some great drives today. Even though we didn’t score touchdowns, they extended drives to give us opportunities to rest,” Quinn said. “And if we’ve got to win a ballgame 9-3, whatever [it is], close game — if we get a rest and the offense can continue to do that, I think we’ve got a great chance.”

3) “We need to score some touchdowns”
While sustained drives are an improvement, the Rams have not scored a touchdown through the first two weeks of the season. And while it’s always better to correct after a win than it is a loss, that clearly has to change.

“There are some realities to where we are right now,” Fisher said. “We’re 1-1 in the division and we haven’t scored a touchdown yet. We need to score some touchdowns, so we’ll keep working on that.”

“If we take anything away from this week, that’s what we got to do,” Fisher added. “We’ve got to keep working on it someway somehow, whether it’s special teams or defense, but I’ll take a touchdown next week.”

One of the issues that’s kept the Rams out of the end zone has been their inability to make plays inside the red zone, according to Keenum.

“I think we had a penalty, maybe a negative run, just negative plays in the red zone. It is not good,” Keenum said. “When we get down there, yards are precious in the red zone.”

“We got down close to field-goal range a couple of times, obviously helped with the field position battle,” Keenum added. “But if you’re going to be successful in this league, there are a lot of really good offenses, you have to score points.”

Tight end Lance Kendricks said it is bothersome the Rams have not scored a TD through two weeks.

“But we know we left some things out there on the field that we can learn from,” Kendricks said. “Going forward, I think we just have to learn from it, and just continue to practice hard and just focus on the details. That’s what got us this win.”

One way to improve on that will be to get running back Todd Gurley going. The 2015 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year has only 98 yards on 36 carries, as opponents are clearly focused on making the Rams beat them through the air.

“We just have to get him some more touches. He ran well when he had the ball,” Fisher said. “Again, it’s the same thing we’ve been talking about if we convert more third downs we get more opportunities. He’ll be fine.”

4) A striking evenness to the game
As division rivals with steady coaching staffs, there’s a reason the Rams and Seahawks seem to have particularly competitive matchups every time they play.

“We match-up well against them and strange things happen in these games, too,” Fisher said. “I mean, we beat them a couple of years ago without scoring [an offensive] touchdown.”

But when you look at some of the numbers from this game, it jumps off the page how evenly the two teams played.

For some examples…

First downs — SEA: 17 | LA: 17 
Third-down efficiency — SEA: 4/13 (31 percent) | LA: 3/12 (25 percent)
Total offensive plays — SEA: 61 | LA: 58
Average gain per offensive play — SEA: 5.0 yards | LA: 4.9 yards
Net yards rushing — SEA: 67 | LA: 64
Total rushing plays — SEA: 24 | LA: 25
Pass attempts - completions - had intercepted — SEA: 35-22-0 | LA: 30-18-0
Avg gain per pass play — SEA: 6.5 | LA: 6.6
Net punting average — SEA: 39.1 | LA: 39.5 
Penalties (number and yards lost) — SEA: 10-114 | LA: 9-78
Time of possession — SEA: 30:03 | LA 29:57

So what is it about games between the Seahawks and Rams that produce these kinds of dogfights?

“I don’t know,” defensive end William Hayes said. “Seattle is a great football team. They’ve had a lot more success than us. We were just dialed in a little more this weekend. I can’t really explain how we won the game, but I can tell you we worked pretty hard last week and it paid off.”

5) A few costly penalties
If there was one factor that allowed the Seahawks to score at all it was the Rams’ costly penalties.

It looked like L.A. had forced two straight three-and-outs to start then game when quarterback Russell Wilson fired an incomplete pass in the middle of the field on 3rd-and-10 from the Seattle 19. But defensive end Ethan Westbrooks had apparently lined up in the neutral zone, and was flagged. Wilson completed a pass for a first down on the following 3rd-and-5.

Later in the possession, Ogletree was flagged for unnecessary roughness after he hit a sliding Wilson, who had scrambled through the middle. The foul pushed Seattle to the L.A. 24-yard line.

Finally, cornerback Trumaine Johnson was called for a facemask penalty inside the red zone that gave Seattle another first down, extending the drive. Los Angeles did clamp down, making the Seahawks settle for a field goal. But these are the elements that show the defense has room for improvement, despite giving up only three points.

Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher Gets Testy On Goff-Keenum Battle.

Here’s what Fish had to say at his day-after press conference.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)
“I was really excited about the outcome of the game. We got a chance to look at it very closely as a staff this morning. We did some really good things. We have a lot of room for improvement, as you would expect and probably agree. But, we’re pleased with, in particular, the way the three phases played together. We got a sense, early, that it was going to be a field position game. Our punt team did an outstanding job. (P) Johnny (Hekker) had six punts, and all six were inside the 20 (-yard line). That gave us a drive start advantage, and put them on a long field every time, and gave our defense an opportunity to get them into third down and get off the field. I thought defense played very well. We have some room for improvement in some specific areas. Clearly offensively, we’re still struggling, in the third down area, and scoring. But, we made some plays. Our second-down production was much improved. We got the ball down the field. We capitalized on some of their mistakes, some of their penalties. We found a way to win at the end. Again, like I said yesterday evening, disappointed in the big play down the field in the two-minute drive. But, (LB) Alec (Ogletree) and the defense responded with the turnover, and we were able to kneel on it. We’ve got work to do. As we talked about the 22-hour rule last week, we have a 24-hour rule. This one is over; we’re going on to the next opponent. We came through it somewhat healthy. I’m really pleased with that.”

(On switching up the defensive packages against Seattle)
“We have numerous packages. We tried to attach the packages to some of the things they were doing. (LB) Josh (Forrest) got a chance to play in base, which when (Defensive Coordinator) Gregg (Williams) called base or called regular that pattern I looked and his eyes got really big. He did a nice a job and he’s learned from that. He know that when we go there, we’re going to lean on him for that. Our intention going into the game was to give (CB) Troy (Hill) some snaps and Troy got some snaps and I though he responded well. He had some heat issues, but beyond that, he can run, he can play. We’ll see where that goes. I may make a decision, as far as that starting spot there between Troy and (DB) Coty (Sensabaugh).”

(On the stark contrast between last week’s performance to this week’s performance)
“We were clearly disappointed in the opener on the road, short week. We put it behind us – the guys were disappointed. We missed some opportunities. There were some flashes of good things at San Francisco, but we need to eliminate mistakes. We did so, we improved – I think in all three areas. Now we just have to build on that.”

(On what that says about the NFL)
“That’s the way it is. You have some teams out there that are 0-2, that are really good. Good teams with good quarterbacks. That’s just our world – it’s a week-to-week thing, it’s a play here, it’s a play there, it’s a break here or a break there. You just have to keep playing, you got to have, and everybody does, you’ve got to have a philosophy that allows players to bounce back the next week. I mean nobody saw, after Tampa’s (Buccaneers) opener, nobody saw this coming. Obviously, their opponent’s really good, we know their opponent, but you wouldn’t think that that was going to happen to them. We’re expecting them to rebound this week at home. We got some work to do.”

(On how long he can stick with QB Case Keenum when his stat line ranks towards the bottom on the league)
“Our opener was a team loss. I don’t blame it on Case, nor do I give credit to Case for this win here yesterday – although he contributed, made a lot of plays, pushed the ball down the field, made plays when he needed to. We need more production out of our offense. All things point to the quarterback position, but I’m expecting Case to continue to get better in this offense and we’re going to win games and score points. If you’re talking about (QB) Jared (Goff), I don’t want to be a broken record here, but we’re going to play him when he’s ready. That was a great experience for him yesterday, he loved it. I talked to him this morning and said, ‘This is going to be your home for a long time.’ He’s excited about that. When that happens, we’ll let you know.”

(On if the decision on when to start Goff will be based on how he’s doing in practice or how Keenum is performing in the games)
“It’s based on a lot of different things. When he’s under center, you’ll know. Keep asking it every week if you want. You can ask it again, if you want.”

(On what he needs out of the other cornerback position opposite CB Trumaine Johnson)
“We need more production. (CB) E.J. (Gaines) is really close, we’re going to get some guys back on the field this week – so E.J.’s close. He’s been there, he’s done it, he’s’ played there, he’s excelled there. We’ve missed E.J. there. Once he’s healthy, I would suggest that he’s probably got a pretty good chance of taking that job over, but he’ll be questionable for this week.”

(On if LB Alec Ogletree was out of position on his fumble recovery as Ogletree suggested following the game and what he saw on that particular play)
“No, he dropped in coverage. He was dropped in coverage, we had a really good match-up downfield. But we were trying to keep (Seahawks QB) Russell (Wilson) from scrambling, so we didn’t get the pass rush that we wanted on that particular play – the quick, sudden collapse of the pocket. So ‘Tree’ dropped a little bit deeper in coverage, but once the ball was thrown, he broke on it. I think you have to give them both credit for the caused fumble. I’ve looked at it numerous times and both (LB/S) Mark (Barron) and Alec arrived at the same time in a bad mood – that’s why the ball came out.”

(On how K Greg Zuerlein is performing to this point in the season after having concern coming into the season)
“He’s been fine. Our concern – yes there were some misses, we had a couple blocked last year and he had some long-range that were missed – and every kicker has a moment. But he’s been very consistent, his kickoffs have been outstanding – in the wind, with the wind, his placement of the kickoffs. I didn’t have any issues with him at all. He’s kicking very well. We have a really good operation right now with (LS) Jake (McQuaide) and ‘Hek’ (P Johnny Hekker) and him. He’s confident right now. I elected not to take the longshot yesterday, just because of field position. He’s been great.”

(On how matching up well against a team translates to still growing and trying to become a consistent winner against other teams)
“It’s a week-to-week thing. We’re familiar with our division, especially as it relates to Seattle. We have great respect for them, I think they have respect for us and we know what kind of game it’s going to be. And I think that’s the case, by and large, with both San Francisco and Arizona. The San Francisco thing, in Week 1, it didn’t happen. This young team needs to be able to go out and match-up week after week with the different opponents. We’ve had recent success against the Bucs – that means nothing. We’ve got to go down, they’re much improved, (Buccaneers QB) Jameis (Winston) is playing really well, despite the day he had yesterday. We’re going to be challenged. In order for us to be successful, we’re going to have to play consistent on defense, week-in and week-out, become a defensive unit that will stop the run, get off the field on third down. And we’re going to have to start scoring points on offense, that’s a given.”

(On how RB Todd Gurley is handling not putting up the numbers he’s used to putting up)
“He’s been fine, he’s a team guy. And he made some big plays in this game. Everyone expects the running back to have 30 carries for 150 yards – that doesn’t happen every week. You look back and, whatever Seattle’s stats are with respect to 100-yard rushers – it’s been decades, it seems like, since they gave up a 100-yard rusher. That’s a good defensive football team. But we got chunks out of Todd and that was good. It was good for us, from a field position standpoint. His production, I thought, was outstanding – the numbers don’t reflect it. But the screen pass, for example, and a couple first downs there really helped us switch the field. But he’ll have a breakout day.”

(On if WR Pharoh Cooper and WR Nelson Spruce are two of the players he expects to get back on the field this week and how that can change the offense once those two are back)

“We expect them to get on the field. Whether they’re available on Sunday, I don’t know yet. But they’re making progress, which is good. How it affects the offense, I can’t tell you. They’re both rookies, they haven’t had a regular season snap yet. But they both have promising futures and showed that they can make plays in the NFL early in the preseason.”

It's week three of the 2016 season and the Rams are coming off a historic win in the Coliseum. The Rams have opportunity and history on their side to do something they've never done under Jeff Fisher.

Last week's game vs Seattle was fun right? Well if you love defense it was fun. The Rams defense was clearly motivated and delivered the type of performance we've seen little of but promised for years now. It was great. Surely you're aware that the offense still has some things to figure out and touchdowns to score. This Sunday in Tampa Bay the Rams will have a chance to put it all together again and cross off a couple of "firsts" since Fisher came on board.


Rams After Week 2
Year Record
2012 1-1
2013 1-1
2014 1-1
2015 1-1

If every year in the recent past starts off feeling like "this might finally be the one" it could have something to do with the Rams quietly beginning 1-1 each year. Another year and the Rams find themselves in a familiar spot as 2016 has begun. The Rams have a record of 1-1 once again. Week three has been the proverbial monkey on their backs.

The Rams have not won a game in week three of any season since 2010.

And under Fisher those week three losses have been more towards the lines of complete letdowns. Whether it be a no-showing of offense or blowing 21 point leads at home, it hasn't been pretty. Is it lack of preparation? False confidence?


Rams in Week 3
Year Opponent Result
2012 at CHI L 23-6
2013 at DAL L 31-7
2014 vs. DAL L 34-31
2015 vs. PIT L 12-6

That's a small problem for a team that's eternally looking to stay above .500 and is consistently .500 after the first two games of the year. 2016, episode three, is different though. This year the Rams play the Buccaneers, a team they've faced in each of the last four seasons. A team whom the Rams have had great success against.


Rams vs. Bucs
Year Week Result
2012 16 at TB Rams 28-13
2013 16 at STL Rams 23-13
2014 2 at TB Rams 19-17
2015 15 at STL Rams 31-23

That's four up, four down. And the only game that was really competitive was in 2014 when former Rams QB Austin Davis led them to victory down in Tampa Bay. And if you're keeping score, the 2015 matchup, led by QB Case Keenum, was the Rams' second highest scoring output for the 2015 season. This year's matchup will feature a 3rd different head coach for Tampa Bay with Dirk Koetter.

Much like the Rams coming off their Monday Night Football embarrassment, the Bucs got a spanking of their own in week two in Arizona. We know first hand the motivation that a loss like that can bring to a team looking to put on a good showing for their home opener. That's not a circumstance to just gloss over. Tampa Bay has no shortage of reasons to come out eager to put forth their best effort. The Rams have reason to feel confident about their opponent, no matter when or where its being played.

Something must give for the Rams this Sunday. Do they continue to let week three matchups result in bad losses? Or do they continue their winning streak against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? They can't do both. Is a week three matchup against Tampa Bay the missing ingredient to an elusive 2-1 start for a Rams season? We'll find out soon enough.

LA Rams Head To Tampa As Underdogs. At 1-1, the LA Rams head to Florida as underdogs for their third game of 2016.


The 1-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host their first home game of the 2016 season against the 1-1 Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. With the home advantage, the Bucs were served a field goal-plus line to open the odds. Since then with the Rams’ woeful offensive performances through two games, it has since widened to nearly a two-field goal cushion.

It’s the second week in a row that the line has expanded in favor of the Rams’ opponent. If there’s consolation here for Rams fans, it’s that last week’s odds were wildly off from the final result. Money had the Seahawks as favorites by a touchdown with an over/under set at 38 or 38.5. With a final score of 9-3 in the Rams’ favor, Week 2 didn’t play out at all the way Vegas had projected.

So perhaps some optimism is warranted as the Rams head to Tampa in Week 3.


TEAMS OPENING 5DIMES.EU BETONLINE.AG BETNOW.EU MYBOOKIE.AG SPORTSBETTING.AG BOVADA.LV
Los Angeles Rams +3.5 -110 +5 -110 +5 -110 +5.5 -115 +5 -110 +5 -110 +5.5 -115
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3.5 -110 -5 -110 -5 -110 -5.5 -105 -5 -110 -5 -110 -5.5 -110
Total 42
o -110
u -110
42
o -110
u -110
42
o -105
u -115
42
o -110
u -110
42
o -110
u -110
42
o -105
u -115
42
o -110
u -110

A satirical look at more than 75 years of Football's Rams history, combined with discussions of American Exceptionalism and almost 50 years of personal experience in the life of a Rams Fan. The history parallels and intertwines life to form a humorous, yet serious look at American HistoryWorld History, an American Footballteam, and Political Science.