Friday, November 11, 2016

The Los Angeles Rams Weekly

Another year, another struggle for the Rams' offense. I am supposed to be at the game in New Jersey vs. The Jets this week. But honestly, I cannot bring myself to go to it. I'll watch it on television. Until I know that we have a viable quarterback in place playing every down, I barely even want to watch the team/games.

They are so hard to watch this year. I sit there bewildered wondering what I am seeing that Coach Jeff Fisher and his staff do not see. The entire office is crippled because there is really no need for any Defense to pay attention to the Quarterback. He (Case Keenum) cannot throw the back down field and when he does, its nothing more or less than a hail mary pass that is either way off target on a bad day and /or is in an area where the receiver has to make a miraculous catch usually with one hand. He throws the ball maybe 8 yards down field to get a reception or behind the line of scrimmage.

Plus, he has eluded sacks maybe one time this entire year otherwise he just puts his head into some defenders chest. The team cannot run the ball. The team cannot pull off any trickery or any end around to say a Tayvon Austin. The Defenses are all over it. The team has underachieved all year. Even the first loss was a total debacle because the team was not prepared and they did not come to play. The next few wins were ugly and we gruel'ed our way to those wins. The losses have been just down right pathetic. I just cannot believe this year is another wasted one.

There is no reason not6 to start or play Jared Goff. Just humor me Coach and try him for a quarter or two and if he sucks it up, trust me in saying that I will admit that I was wrong. I have never wished any human to get injured but man is there an argument for that to occur because then the coaching staff would be forced into playing Goff. It is horrible that I even said that sentence out loud but I am so disappointed about where the team is at this year. And, it makes no sense. Like I have said many times, if the offense was tearing it up even in any remote way let alone like it should be doing, I would not be saying this about trying Goff at QB.

The coaching staff is making this team look stupid. The play calls are awful. The times we have gone on 4th down which btw, you can't be that confident about going on 4th downs over and over with a weak quarterback, are just stupid. The fake punt was ridiculous. The penalty's are insane. This is all a reflection on the coaching staff. You cannot blame anyone else or anything else about this season. And, again, we should have been in the playoff hunt considering the personnel on the team.

Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher said "no one is in a stage of panic" on his team, even though the losing streak is at four games and the offensive ineptitude is at four years. The Rams are averaging an NFL-worst 16.2 points per game while also ranking last in average first downs (17.6), but the struggles stretch further.

The following is the Rams' place among the 32 teams in average yards per game over the past four seasons:

2013: 30th

2014: 28th

2015: 32nd

2016: 31st

"We believe in what we’re doing," stressed Rob Boras, in his first full season as the Rams' offensive coordinator. "We believe in one another."

The question is: Outside of starting rookie quarterback Jared Goff, which isn't happening yet, is there anything that can be done to make this a more effective unit?

The obvious answer is finding a way to get more out of running back Todd Gurley, who now has been held below 100 rushing yards in 15 of his past 16 games. Midway through his sophomore season, Gurley has compiled a mere 451 rushing yards while ranking 40th among 42 qualified running backs in yards per attempt (3.09) and 41st in average yards before first contact (1.44), the latter an indication of the struggles throughout his offensive line.

Over the past three games, the 22-year-old has received a combined 41 carries, with only five of those coming in the fourth quarter.

Fisher recently stressed the need for Gurley's carries to "increase significantly" and said Wednesday that running the ball will be "our focus" Sunday, even though that day's opponent, the New York Jets, has allowed the NFL's fourth-fewest rushing yards per carry.

Another issue, brought up by Boras: The Rams aren't doing well enough on first and second downs, thus putting too much pressure on them to convert third downs. They've faced 33 third-down situations over the past two games, a stretch during which the offense has managed only two offensive touchdowns. The other hindrance: Case Keenum, who's burdened with the NFL's lowest Total QBR and is coming off a brutal two-game stretch. Against the New York Giants, he threw four interceptions. Against the Carolina Panthers, he completed 27 of 46 passes while hearing Goff chants and boos from the home crowd.

Boras didn't notice the boos.

"Fortunately, I got a headset on, so I don't hear it," he said, laughing. "My wife and kids tell me."

Fisher said he has had "several conversations" with Keenum since Sunday's 13-10 loss, most of it centered on how the offense can get going and none of it on his quarterback's overall confidence.

"Case is fine mentally," Fisher said. "He’s taken charge here in the building, taken charge of the offense, making sure everybody is doing everything they possibly can do.”

Keenum struggled against a Panthers front seven that excels at putting pressure on the quarterback. According to data compiled by Pro Football Focus -- a site that lists Keenum with the worst adjusted accuracy percentage and QB rating when pressured -- Keenum went 7-of-17 for 64 yards and an interception while under duress Sunday, also taking four sacks. Three of his first five passes were tipped at the line of scrimmage, giving Keenum nine batted passes this year, tied for fourth in the NFL.

“Being smart with the football, having better mechanics and stepping up in the pocket," Keenum said of what he can do better when pressured. "I think my pocket presence was not where it needed to be. I think I could’ve prevented a few sacks, a few batted balls. Just trusting my protection and stepping up when I need to. Sometimes I make it tough on my tackles. I’ve definitely worked on that this week and I will continue to work on that -- with the O-line, with the pass rush, and with the receivers. It’s a lot of stuff going on, but we’re getting better at it.”

Another focus for the Rams, per Boras: "Trying to create explosives," which consists of passing plays that exceed 20 yards and running plays that exceed 10 yards.

"It’s hard to go down the field 2 or 3 yards at a time," Boras said. "I don’t care who you are."

And it's hard to win with an offense that totals 20 points over a two-game stretch. Tavon Austin, who hasn't produced at the level the Rams would've hoped, pointed out how well the offense functioned in the first half of their current four-game losing streak. It's the glimmer of hope he needs to believe this offense, flawed as it might be, can be, well, adequate.

"We’re all frustrated, but they all understand that the guys in the room can get it done," Boras said. "That’s the challenge that we have, and these guys are willing to accept that challenge."

Hollywood & Football Premiere Date Revealed: Watch the First Promo for E!'s New Docu-Series About the L.A. Rams

Meet the Ram-ily! On E!'s new docu-series Hollywood & Football, we'll get an inside look at the lives of the Los Angeles Rams football players.

After over 20 years in St. Louis, the team has moved back to L.A. and now the players and their families have to adjust to life in a new city. Rodger Saffold and Asia Saffold, Cory Harkey and Bianca Harkey, Kenny Britt and Sabrina Britt, Lance Kendricks and Danielle Kendricks, Chase Reynolds and Kila Reynolds, Bradley Marquez and Melissa Hernandez will all be featured during the course of the six-episode season.

So when will you be able to watch this new series?

Hollywood & Football is set to premiere on Nov. 30, so mark your calendars!

Plus take a look at the video above to see the first promo for the show and see what you can expect on Hollywood & Football!

Watch the premiere of Hollywood & Football Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m., only on E!
Game Preview: Rams vs. Jets
Los Angeles Rams vs New York Jets game preview - backup QBs cast large shadows - Week 10

The Los Angeles Rams hope a change of coasts and a slumping opponent will change their fortunes Sunday when they travel to face the New York Jets (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

After a 3-1 start put them on top of the NFC West, the Rams (3-5) are riding a four-game losing streak.

The Jets (3-6) are last in the AFC East, and there are rumors of discipline issues leaking from inside the team's facilities.

Both the Rams and the Jets need a victory this weekend. The winner may be able to salvage its record. The loser simply will be digging the hole deeper on what would be a lost season.

Both franchises have issues at the quarterback position. Both teams stuck with journeymen veterans instead of turning the reins over to younger players who were high draft picks.

The Jets re-signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a free agent contact after the well-traveled Harvard product had a career year for the team in 2015. Fitzpatrick has not produced close to those same statistics in 2016 and already was benched once this season.

Quarterback Geno Smith replaced Fitzpatrick for a start but got injured. The Jets also have young QBs Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg waiting in the wings.

Fitzpatrick missed a series in a loss to the Miami Dolphins last week due to a knee sprain, and Petty looked solid in his stead. That injury to Fitzpatrick at least has coach Todd Bowles thinking about making a switch.

"If (Fitzpatrick) misses a significant amount of (practice) time, then Bryce will play (this week)," Bowles said.

The coach termed Fitzpatrick day to day and said he would like to see the veteran practice at least once before feeling comfortable starting him Sunday. Fitzpatrick, who was limited in practice Wednesday, threw two costly interceptions against Dolphins, giving him 13 picks against just eight touchdown passes this season, so many Jets fans are hoping to get an extended look at Petty.

The Rams drafted quarterback Jared Goff first overall in this year's draft, only to have him sit and watch Case Keenum play below average. Even with a Los Angeles fan base booing during last week's loss to the Carolina Panthers, coach Jeff Fisher continues to hedge on making a change.

"Case is starting. Jared is improving," Fisher said. "I keep saying that as you guys keep asking the questions, he's improving. But for right now, Case is starting, and we're going to New York. But, Case right now, especially against this (Jets') defense, gives us our best chance. It's an extremely complicated defense, and they can pressure the quarterback, they can do anything they want to do. They're very, very talented. Our focus is this week against the Jets, and Case will be under center."

The New York defense that Fisher raves about is in disarray due to discipline problems.

Two of the stars of the unit, defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, were benched to start the Dolphins game, reportedly for being late or missing team meetings. Bowles continues to call the benching of the two starters a "coach's decision."

Despite the issues and the praise Fisher heaps on the unit, the Jets' defense is struggling. New York ranks 26th in the NFL in points allowed at 26.1 a game.

The Jets' pass defense is not playing well, and cornerback Darrelle Revis looks like a shell of his old self. New York is 22nd in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game at 272.2 per contest. The secondary has given up over 300 yards passing in four games this season. One solace for the unit is that Keenum has only one 300-plus-yard passing game this year.

The Rams' running attack was supposed to be dominant thanks to second-year player Todd Gurley. That has not come to fruition, and the ground game actually has regressed. Gurley has no 100-yard rushing games this season. Do not look for that trend to be broken against the Jets. Even with Wilkerson and Richardson missing time, the Jets are fourth in the NFL in run defense, allowing only 81 yards on the ground.

Los Angeles ranks 31st in total offense.

"(Three) weeks ago, we were one of the top offenses," Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin said. "The last two weeks, we kind of fell a little short. Now they're saying we're the worst. It really doesn't make a difference to us. These last eight games, we're going to come out week by week and try to go as hard as we can."
William Hayes On Jimmy Kimmel Live Tonight
Rams defensive end William Hayes believes in mermaids, but not dinosaurs so late night host Jimmy Kimmel decided to take him on a field trip to the Natural History Museum here in Los Angeles to try and change that. Here's a sneak peek of their visit (above).

The HBO series Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams introduced the world to Hayes' anti-dinosaur believes and love of mermaids. Tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, we get to enjoy it a little bit more. Rams fan can tune in tonight and enjoy the laughs at 11:35 p.m. PST on ABC.

Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35|10:35pm CT on ABC.

The William Hayes Mermaid Support Group

— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 22, 2016

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.