Jeff Fisher's career has been marked by a history of slow starts. During his tenure in St Louis, the Rams have not hit the ground running to start any of his three seasons.
Over the first 5 games year-by-year, the Rams have records of 3-2, 2-3, and 1-4 since Fisher took over. Even my 5 year old can see that negative trend...
2012 (3-2, 7-8-1)
The Rams looked relatively impressive - by Rams standards at least - to start Fisher's inaugural Season. They gave the Lions all they could handle in the season opener and were a Jo-Lonn Dunbar blown coverage mistake away from a W. They followed that performance with a wacky game against the Redskins that they won largely because Josh Morgan couldn't keep his cool.
Week 3 was the first (and only) game in the first five games where the Rams looked outmatched. But, after being manhandled by the Bears that week, they rolled off consecutive wins against the Seahawks and previously undefeated Cardinals. The latter of those games was arguably the Rams most impressive defensive performance of the season. The defense suffocated the Cardinals Offense, sacking Carson Palmer nine times on Thursday Night Football.
Unfortunately for Rams fans, this promising start would prove the exception rather than the rule.
2013 (2-3, 7-9)
After a promising season opener where the Rams offense seemed to click, it rapidly went downhill in 2013. The Offense faltered until late in the game against Atlanta and was unable to mount a comeback. That was followed by a trampling courtesy of DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys.
If that performance didn't make you queasy, then the following week must have. The Rams were absolutely decimated by the 49ers on Thursday Night Football. The beating was so bad that it prompted Fisher to use the bye week to completely scrap the spread offense that the team had been using.
Coming off of the bye week, the Rams showed renewed life - against the Jaguars. But even then... the flaws in the team were easy to spot.
2014 (1-4, 6-10)
After losing Sam Bradford in the preseason, hope was tempered among Rams fans to start the season. The team's performance in Week 1 did nothing to inspire hope either. The Rams were destroyed by the Vikings and seemed to forget how to tackle.
They followed that by sweating out a win in Tampa Bay on the back of TJ McDonald. Austin Davis did his best to will the Rams to victory in the next 2 weeks, but ultimately the Rams fell to the Cowboys and Eagles in shootouts. Ultimately, the start of the 2014 season was summed up by Janoris Jenkins getting torched by Brandon Lloyd. A lot of highs, even more lows.
Suffice to say, Jeff Fisher's track record during the first five games of the season is trending the wrong way. On the plus side, it's going to be hard to be worse than they were last year. The Rams opening five games this season are: vs SEA, @ WAS, vs PIT, @ ARI, and @ GB.
With a new QB, it's hard to say how quick offensive chemistry will develop for this years Rams. I think that an absolute best case scenario would be getting lucky in the SEA or GB games and get out to a 4-1 start. The glimmer of hope for the Rams lies in weeks 2-4, when they will face the Redskins, a Le'Veon Bell-less Steelers squad, and a visit to Glendale to visit Carson's Palmer's glass knee.
While a 3-2 start isn't out of the question, the Rams have an uphill battle on their hands to start the season. Unfortunately given Jeff Fisher's history, the Rams and their fans may be in for more 'growing pains' before the bye.