These last few weeks have been tough.
I haven’t written much, mostly because the Rams suck and nothing has changed. You don’t need a winners and losers column every week to know Aaron Donald does good football things and the offensive line is does not do good football things.
There isn’t much point doing this when it takes more effort to write an article than the Rams display on Sunday.
But oh well. Let’s do this.
Jared Goff, QB
No surprise here. The Rams rolled out a few scripted drives that Jared Goff absolutely killed. Shameless self-promotion, but this is what I said about Goff a year ago:
Goff is a quick strike, quick thinking, gun-slinging quarterback. He can read the defense, progress through his reads and make a quick, accurate throw in a matter of seconds. He'd benefit from big targets who can stretch the field (with a large catch radius) which would help mask his deep accuracy issues, but he's good enough now that he could come in and immediately tear up any zone defense he can get his hands on. He has the ability to bounce back and is not afraid to challenge a defense, even after struggling as he did against Utah.
He had a few throws sail on him, but otherwise he hung in there, took the pressure the Saints threw at him and had a pretty good day all things considered.
And that two minute drill? That was a glimpse into what a competent, modern offense could be with Jared Goff running the show.
Then, like a dream, #Fisherball reappeared and the offense was gone. Still, no complaints from me with a 3 touchdown game when Goff’s only played 8 quarters of NFL football. That’s not easy, and it takes serious talent.
Aaron Donald, DT
Donald is going to get paid, wherever the hell he ends up signing. If the Rams keep losing, I don’t see much of a reason that the next where is Los Angeles.
Johnny Hekker, P
I’m really grasping at straws for positives here.
Alec Ogletree, LB
I really don’t understand the move to a nickel (is it really a nickel when your two linebackers are converted safeties? Is there a name for 4-0-7?) package as the base defense, or that Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron (both converted safeties) are the only two linebackers in the base defense. The positions they are in are not something they are succeeding in.
Ogletree and Barron are athletic, rangy and capable of coverage given their past experience. Being asked to close gaps and stop the run and let the five or six defensive backs on the field handle coverage is not something that is going to be successful.
This is a schematic flaw, plain and simple.
Greg Robinson, OT
Oh, Greg. The Rams offensive line struggles are not because of Robinson. They go far deeper, and they struggled even with Robinson wearing street clothes. Benching him for a week will not solve anything. Robinson does not lack desire - he wouldn’t have went to LeCharles Bentley for help if he didn’t care.
The game is simply too fast for him and he’s being too reactive because of it. That doesn’t work for a NFL left tackle. Does moving him inside slow the game down? That’s a question Jeff Fisher might decide to try and answer in the last few weeks of the season.
I’m not sure if this has ever been asked, but what does it say about an organization if your prized left tackle - the highest drafted offensive tackle ever by your head coach - decides the only way he can get better is by putting in extra time with a third party, instead of the team’s coaching staff?
Why was Fisher’s swing tackle a guy who hadn’t played left tackle in nearly a decade?
Why did the Rams stray away from an offensive scheme that was clearly working?
Why did the Rams defense give up half way through the game?
Why did the Rams not replace Josh Forrest with ANYONE?
Why did the Rams wait this long to play Jared Goff, and what difference did three practices do to ‘open up the playbook’ in Goff’s second week?
These are questions I don’t know the answers to. It’s pretty clear Fisher doesn’t either.