Friday, December 16, 2016

Los Angeles Rams Weekly

Rams Fall to Seahawks on Thursday Night, 24-3.
Though the Rams played the Seahawks tight for the first half, Seattle pulled away in the second for a 24-3 victory.
With the loss, the Rams have dropped nine of their last 10 games and fallen to 4-10 on the season.
The two teams finished the first quarter scoreless, but not before interim head coach John Fassel showed some aggression. With the Rams deep in Seattle territory, Fassel elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 on the Seahawks’ seven-yard line. While running back Todd Gurley was stopped short on the toss sweep to the left, the aggressive call was a sign of things to come.
Seattle got on the board with a touchdown early in the second quarter. Following a defensive holding call on 4th-and-1 that resulted in a first down, quarterback Russell Wilson hit tight end Luke Willson with an eight-yard pass off play action for a scoring strike.
On the Rams’ ensuing drive, Fassel continued to be aggressive. On 4th-and-9 from the Rams’ own 30, Fassel called a fake, with punter Johnny Hekker looking to throw to wide receiver Mike Thomas on the left side with a comeback route. The ball, however, was short and incomplete, giving Seattle a short field.
The home team would take advantage of it with a 48-yard field goal to go up 10-0.
Los Angeles kicked a field goal of its own to cap a long drive late in the first half. Wide receiver Kenny Brittcaught a 24-yard pass and Gurley took a handoff for 22 yards to get L.A. in scoring position. With Greg Zuerlein’s 36-yard field goal, the Rams cut Seattle’s lead to 10-3.
That score held through halftime, but the Seahawks would score again midway through the third quarter. On 3rd-and-goal from the L.A. one, wide receiver Doug Baldwin put on a move at the line of scrimmage and got open in the end zone. Wilson hit him for the easy touchdown.
That’s when Seattle started to pull away. After a Rams three-and-out, Wilson connected with speedy wide receiver Tyler Lockett on the right side for a long 57-yard touchdown. Lockett simply got behind the defense on the play, which made the score 24-3.
The Rams looked like they had a chance to score, but a significant penalty helped wipe away that opportunity. On 2nd-and-10 from the Seattle 17, quarterback Jared Goff scrambled 15 yards down the left sideline. But a hold called on right guard Andrew Donnal negated the play.
Goff took a hard shot from Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman to finish the run, and was removed from the game by the officials to be evaluated for a possible injury. Backup Case Keenum came into the game, but could not move the chains, as he threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-11.
Up 24-3, Seattle elected to use a fake punt with punter Jon Ryan running the ball up the middle for a 33-yard gain. But toward the end of his run, Ryan lost his handle of the ball and got hit hard by cornerback Troy Hill. While Ryan fumbled, the Seahawks recovered.
Linebacker Alec Ogletree came up with a late takeaway, intercepting a Wilson pass at the goal line and returning it to the Seattle nine-yard line. With Keenum still at quarterback, the Rams could not capitalize on the opportunity and turned the ball over on downs.
After a short and eventful week, the Rams will have a long weekend to regroup. The team will be back at home next Saturday to face the 49ers on Christmas Eve.

Jared Goff in concussion protocol after Rams' loss. Rams quarterback Jared Goff left in the fourth quarter after suffering a concussion and did not return in Thursday night's 24-3 loss against the Seahawks.

Goff took a huge hit from cornerback Richard Sherman while scrambling along the sideline. After the game, Rams interim head coach John Fassel said Goff was placed in concussion protocol.

"He will be OK but it's probably not going to happen again," Fassel said before adding that Goff needs to learn to run out of bounds. "He seemed OK, but he's maybe tough enough to disguise (his condition)."

After the game, Sherman talked about the hit on NFL Network's TNF Postgame, saying that he felt Goff was showing "a little disrespect in his running style, he was acting like he was getting a freebie to end zone."

Case Keenum took over at quarterback in the middle of the fourth quarter and finished the rest of the game.

Goff completed 13 of 25 passes for 135 yards before leaving.
Los Angeles Rams Part Ways With Jeff Fisher. The Los Angeles Rams have relieved Jeff Fisher from head coaching duties, the team announced today.

“Making a decision such as this - especially during the season - is one of the most difficult in sports,” said Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. “I have great respect for Jeff as a coach, person, father and friend.

“He has worked tirelessly despite some challenging circumstances. He played an integral role in helping this team make history in returning the NFL to Los Angeles, and we always will be grateful for his commitment and dedication to our organization.

“However, this is the right time to make a change as our performance has not lived up to my or our fans' expectations. We all are focused on improving as an organization and building a team that makes Los Angeles proud. Our mission is to celebrate a Super Bowl title with our fans in Los Angeles. Today is the first step to bringing us closer to that goal.”

Fisher was hired as head coach of the Rams in 2012 and has amassed a record of 31-45-1 in nearly five seasons.

Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff will be available to media today at 3 p.m.

The news conference will take place at the Rams practice facility, located on the campus of California Lutheran University (3680 Campus Dr., Thousand Oaks, CA 91360). Please park in open spaces near the rear of the parking lot, and look for the “Media” directional signage to enter the facility.

Demoff will speak to the media at a podium inside the media workroom. There will be a mult box available in the back of the workroom for television and radio outlets that need to gather sound.

Rams Players React to Coaching Change

Monday was an emotional day for the players at the Rams’ facility, as the team found out about the coaching change. After the first practice under interim head coach John Fassel, those in the locker room expressed a sense of responsibility and regret over the way the season has turned out and the decision to move on from Jeff Fisher.

“We feel a lot of responsibility,” safety T.J. McDonald said. “He gave us every opportunity to show out and for our bodies to feel good. He’s a players’ coach — gave us every opportunity to take care of business and we didn’t get it done. So can’t help but feel some type of responsibility.”

“We feel like we let him down,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “Anytime things aren’t going right, they’re always going to look at the guy that’s leading. But, like I said, we’re out there playing the game. We’re out there making the mistakes and we need to fix it.”

As players relayed in the locker room, Fisher delivered them the news about being relieved from his duties himself in a team meeting. Offensive lineman Jamon Brown described an emotional setting, with many players likely reflecting on how Fisher had brought them into the league.

“I think the vibe from the room was, we really should be apologizing to him that we probably didn’t do everything — everybody probably didn’t do everything they needed to to make sure something like this wouldn’t happen,” Brown said.

“He stood strong, and stood up there, and talked to us like a man,” Donald said. “But anytime you lose a leader like that — a guy that drafted you, that you’ve been with three years, and he’s up and gone now, you’re going to be down about it.”

Though rookie quarterback Jared Goff has only been around Fisher for this season, he expressed the same kind of sentiments as those from his more experienced teammates.

“He treated us the right way. He treated us the way we’re supposed to be treated. And in return, we didn’t do enough for him,” Goff said. “Unfortunately, it falls on him. But us in the locker room blame ourselves. And we need to be better.” 

Goff added he’s not concerned that a coaching change at this stage of his career will stunt his progression as a young player in the NFL.

“I think I’m a pretty confident guy, and confident in my abilities,” Goff said. “Whoever the coach may be, I think I’ll be alright.”

Overall, the prevailing sentiment in the locker room is that the players themselves need to take it upon themselves to improve in the last three games of the 2016 season.

“Coaches coach, players play,” Donald said. “We’re out there playing, so it’s not the coaching — it’s us. We’ve got to just play better as a team, be more consistent. It’s on us. It’s on us as players.

“We know that and we can’t continue to play like this,” Donald added, “or it won’t matter who comes in here, it won’t be good.”

With the NFL Winter League Meeting kicking off today, the owners approved the Chargers to join the Rams in Los Angeles.

The NFL is hosting its annual Winter League Meeting in Irving, Texas, today. The major topic of discussion? The potential relocation of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

The first domino in question was the lease proposal up for agreement that would allow the Chargers to co-occupy the stadium in Inglewood and approve a debt waiver to help the Chargers pay for relocation.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the momentum of the last 12 months, both were approved:
What’s clear is that the owners won’t stand in the way of the Chargers moving about 120 miles up I-5. What’s not clear is if San Diego can come up with a fourth down solution to close the funding gap needed for a new stadium by a couple of hundred million dollars. They’re at least drawing up one hail mary to attempt, but what’s clear is that time is short and opposition doesn’t exist.

All things being considered, it seems more likely than not that the Chargers will be joining the Rams in LA.
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon hands out superlatives to L.A. Rams and Seattle Seahawks NFL players before their Thursday Night Football showdown.

The Tonight Show featured Rams players tight end Tyler Higbee, lineman Cody Wichmann, long snapper Jake McQuaide and center Tim Barnes.

The NFL announced it’s 2017 London games on Tuesday morning. The Los Angeles Rams have another “home” game at Twickenham next season

On Tuesday morning, the NFL released it’s slate for the 2017 London games. Here’s a quick look at the tentative schedule.
The Los Angeles Rams will “host” the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium in Week 7 or 8.

This will mark the third time the Rams have made the trip across the pond. They are 0-2 in International series play, having fallen 45-7 to the Patriots in 2012, and 17-10 to the Giants earlier this year.

Here’s what the Rams said in their official release:

  • The NFL today announced the four games that will take place in London next season, the first time the league will play four games – half of a home schedule of regular-season games – in the UK capital.
  • The Rams will travel to London for the third time since the inception of the NFL’s London Games Series in 2007. The team previously hosted the New England Patriots in 2012 and the New York Giants in 2016. Next season, Los Angeles will serve as the home team in either Week 7 (Oct. 22) or Week 8 (Oct. 29) against the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby.
  • The game times and dates will be finalized in conjunction with the revealing of the full 2017 NFL schedule next spring.

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 Football team, and Political Science.