The Los Angeles Rams kick off their 2016 campaign in less than three weeks. They’ll make a short trip to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Monday night in Week 1, then play host at the Coliseum in Week 2, as they look to make it three straight head-to-head victories against Seattle Seahawks. The Rams then head east to Tampa where they’ll take on the Buccaneers in their third game of 2016.
Since joining the Rams in 2012, Jeff Fisher has yet to come out of Week 3 with a winning record. Can the Rams break the trend in 2016?
The Turf Show Times staff has their win/loss predictions through the first three games...
Brent Lancaster (RamBuck, @lannyosu): 3-0
I think that Rams come out of the gates swinging and stifle Chip Kelly's offense, terrorize Russell Wilson and make Jameis look like Shameis. My reasoning is this: Case Keenum is a winner, and he went 2-1 vs. these teams at the end of last year (should have gone 3-0 if it weren't for a field goal). And also, the Rams are in LA now, so that magically makes them better by proximity.
Brian Muehling (BMule, @_BMule): 1-2
The Rams will be 1-2 after the first three games. Surprisingly though I have them beating the Seahawks. I believe Fisher will actually stick with Keenum as the starter for week one. San Francisco might be the most winnable game for the Rams but they've alternated L-W in seasons openers since losing to Detroit in 2012(only season opener on road). Faced with that loss I think Rams respond emphatically in the first home game in front of LA to beat Seattle. Still riding high and rolling with Keenum, I predict they'll have the "Seahawk Hangover" when the roll into Tampa Bay.
Eric Nagel (Eric Nagel, @Eric_Nagel): 1-2
Since we are no longer taking any 7-9 bullshit, I think the answer is obvious: we will be 1-2 . Everything points to this, as it's exactly where we've started for the past four years. But I am just personally pondering right now, and as such cannot be held accountable.
Eddie Perez (EddieP, @iAmEddieP_): 1-2
The Rams - regardless of whether they are in L.A. now - have always been notoriously slow starters under Jeff Fisher. Look for 'em to start that way again.
The Rams will most likely fall short at Levi Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers. The win will come against Seattle in a close game. And the other loss will be against Jameis Winston's Bucs.
Tevin Broner (Tevin Broner, @T_Bron): 2-1
The Rams first three games aren't tough. The 49ers look like one of the worst teams in the NFL currently. The Seahawks will be the Rams first real test in week two. History says the Rams have the Bucs number - the Rams have won the last three games there.
The Rams might always play the Seahawks tough, but I don't see it being really close week 2. The Bucs game will be closer than people think.
All in all, 2-1 is not a bad place to be
Misone Adiasor (misone, @MightyOrMisone): 2-1
It's ironic because I have little confidence the product put out will be much better than last years 7-9 team. However, as it's already well documented, this team plays really well in its division. Starting off with two division games will play on their favor. The Niners suck but for some reason the Rams love playing to their competitions level. However they will win that game because Todd Gurley will run for a buck fifty, and there will be at least three turnovers forced with either Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick at QB. Neither specifically scary. The Seahawks are still a dominant team but there's no team in the league they have a harder time beating than the Rams. Furthermore their offensive line still sucks and barring any major injuries, the Rams defensive line will be healthy and recking shop. They should go 3-0 but I think they stumble against the bucs. Wouldn't surprise me if they won because I'm expecting the bucs run defense to be horrendous. However, i am expecting the same from the Rams pass defense. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans should have a very good day. Especially if the Rams are still not shadowing with Trumaine Johnson and only playing right corner left corner.
Sean Wilkinson (Sean Wilkinson, @Papa_Lurch): 3-0
This goes against what I predicted when 3k solicited predictions with the schedule release, but I think the Rams will go 3-0 heading into a week 4 matchup with the Cardinals in Glendale.
Color me crazy if you'd like, but if Jeff Fisher does one thing consistently well, it's being motivated for division.You'd better believe he'll have this team JACKED for a Monday night football opener against the 49ers. Same for the return of meaningful football to LA against the Seahawks in week 2.
As for the Bucs, the Rams have played them each year since 2012 and have gone 4-0. I expect that to continue
Derrik Klassen (QBKlass, @QBKlass): 1-2
The first three games are going to be rough for the Rams. There are a lot of new faces on offense and defense, and those position groupings, especially the defensive secondary, will need some time to gel together. That said, even when they've gotten a feel for each other on the field, there will be clear holes in this team. The lack of a true No.1 wide receiver hurts, the quarterback situation will be messy and it's tough to expect much from the defense outside of the front four. The Rams open the season against San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa Bay, and only San Francisco feels like a "likely" win. The Rams would be lucky to head into Week 4 with two wins already under their belt. They should end up 1-2 after the first few games.
Joe McAtee (3k, @3k_): 1-2
#Rams' record after three weeks through Jeff Fisher's tenure as HC:— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) September 28, 2015
Brandon Bate (Brandon Bate, @NoPlanB_): 1-2
With oftentimes anemic numbers on offense, the Rams rely heavily on their defense to keep games close if there’s any chance of securing victory. And recent years have shown the Rams’ defense typically gets off to a sluggish start, giving up numbers - in terms of points per game - greater than their season average.
Since 2012 - when Jeff Fisher took over as coach - the Rams are allowing opponents to score, on average, 21.8 ppg. The average points allowed through the first three games is 26.3. The opposition scored 28+ points in six of the twelve games.
It makes sense, for any NFL team, that it takes a few games to get their feet under them. In the meantime, especially given some significant personnel losses on defense, one has to wonder if the Rams can overcome a(nother) slow start on defense while still managing to put up somewhere in the ballpark of four touchdowns on offense -- they’ve averaged 18.7 ppg on offense through the first three games since 2012.
If history is any indication, it looks like it’s going to be a fifth consecutive 1-2 start for Jeff Fisher and the Rams.