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LA Rams Vs. Miami Dolphins: Report Card

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Grading the Rams’ Week 11 10-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Los Angeles Rams Vs. Miami Dolphins
Los Angeles Rams Vs. Miami Dolphins
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

QB

B minus grade

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff’s debut was nearly crowned with a victory over the Miami Dolphins that he did little to own. To be fair though, he was never really given the chance.

Finishing 17/31 for a scant 134 yards with nothing in the TD or INT columns, Goff’s day was largely built up on the back of short passes and shorter ones. And handoffs. And scrambles.

The grade is curved based on his inexperience and consistency. He could have easily turned the ball over on a rare rainy day, but he didn’t. That helped ensure the Rams’ defense could lock in for 55 minutes.

RB

B minus grade

This is probably as good as it’s going to get in the running game in 2016.

Todd Gurley punched in a 24-yard run for the Rams’ lone touchdown of the day on a very well-blocked play. He added an 18-yard scamper to finish the first quarter.

Aside from those two runs, he put together 18 runs for 34 yards. That’s an average 1.89 yards per run.

That’s your 2016 Los Angeles Rams. Built on the back of a running game with a #10 overall pick that cannibalized four other drafted running backs in the previous three years, a touchdown, a second solid run and then a cornucopia of pain and suffering.

WR

B minus grade

The box score doesn’t quite tell the tale of how futile this unit was asked to be, but it’s close.

The Rams signed WR Tavon Austin to a four-year $42m deal in late August. Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher suggested he could top 100 receptions this season. Yesterday, he had one reception for 21 yards and, to help showcase his versatility, two rushes for 8 yards.

WR Kenny Britt, Pro Bowl hopeful, led the way with five receptions for 43 yards. Brian Quick and Pharoh Cooper logged numbers.

The ultimate issue is that there wasn’t much asked of this group. The entire offense is so limited in this aspect, it’s very hard to grade the QB and the wideouts. Let’s just keep the B minus groove going with a “Good Job, Good Effort” going around the offense.

TE

B minus grade

Why the hell not.

Lance Kendricks’ biggest contribution was his false starts, and Tyler Higbee logged an awesome (as in “causing fear, awe and wonder”, not “extremely good”) four yards on two catches.

O-line

D grade

What are we even doing here? You don’t need me to tell you anything. It’s just not good. What hurts is the touchdown run. You get a glimpse not just of adequacy but supremacy. A reminder that this could work. This unit could function.

And then over and over and over and over and over again you lose sight of that, the entrance of the tunnel that collapses into a tiny dot and eventually is nothing but a memory.

Is there a penalty Greg Robinson is not willing to commit? The block in the back on Jared Goff’s 11-yard scramble on 3rd and 10 during the Rams’ first possession of the 4th quarter was a masterpiece. /kissesfingerslikeanItalianchef

D-line

A minus grade

They did a fine job.

Shout out to Robert Quinn who swam through the ground for a sack, a move you normally don’t see from terrestrial humans.

LB

A grade

They did a fine job.

Have to wonder how the Josh Forrest injury is going to impact things down the stretch this year.

DB

B plus grade

This is really two separate grades. For most of the game, they were very impressive. On the Dolphins’ final two drives, they were...not.

ST

D plus grade

Special teams, like the Rams’ defense and entirely unlike the offense especially at QB, has to be graded extremely harshly. The reliance on perfection here is ultimate.

So a missed field goal from K Greg Zuerlein and P Johnny Hekker’s final punt of the game just can’t be considered passing grade. The stakes are too high here.

Coaching

C plus grade

I know. Everyone wants to roast Fisher after yesterday and the offense is so ridiculously limited and the penalties and the 4th & 1 and the challenge and all of it. I know.

But the Rams were up 10-0 through three and a half quarters. They made the Dolphins play Rams football, not the other way around.

The problem with the coaching wasn’t really the application yesterday. It’s the framework. The coaching on Sunday wasn’t the problem. It was long before then. The problem wasn’t Jared Goff throwing five-yard passes on 3rd &7; it’s that he’s asked to.

So part of this grade has to acknowledge that the Rams are expected to function a certain way. Their execution, their adherence to that “way” for three and a half quarters was pretty good. Their adherence in the final two defensive opportunities was not. And yet they lost by just four points.

The problem is that “way” is set up to lose by four points just a bit more often than winning by four points and to rarely stray from that outcome.

The team doesn’t suck. The coaching doesn’t suck. The “way” does.

Boo, way.