The Los Angeles Rams kicked off the 2016 season, and their return to LA, with a 0-28 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
I lack the words to describe how awful the Rams were tonight. That’s not a lack of vocabulary on my part. The words just don’t exist.
The thing is...I’ve done my best to write those words.
I wrote about how the Rams, as a franchise, as a culture, don’t really prioritize winning. About how they don’t use the preseason to actually prepare the team to hit 100% performance for Week 1. About how, for all of his individual skills, Todd Gurley isn’t going to be able to single-handedly make this offense work.
The crazy thing isn’t how many Rams fans argued with me, and probably still will. What’s crazy is that this is what we’re dealing with in year five of the current administration.
Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager have had five offseasons and the benefit of the RGIII trade to put together a postseason-caliber team. They’ve had five years to put together a competent offense. They’ve had five years to establish that “elite” defense Rams fans like to tout.
None of it. None of it has materialized.
And this is the reality. This is the product Los Angeles is being asked to get behind as NFL football returns after 22 years.
This is what the Rams have marketed so heavily, have sold so sincerely.
Case Keenum, the QB they waived two years ago, then traded a seventh-round pick to bring back as a backup QB only to beat out their #1 overall pick (and a 2015 third-rounder, FWIW).
17/35, 130 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INT.
Todd Gurley. The Rams’ hopeful LA media market darling and budding superstar.
17 carries for 47 yards. No touchdowns. Longest run of 10 yards.
Tavon Austin, who recently signed a massive four-year extension making him the 12th-highest paid WR in the entire NFL.
Four catches for 13 yards on 12 targets. One rush for two yards. Four punt returns for 38 yards.
A defense that gave up more than 300 yards to the Blaine Gabbert-led 49ers.
Aaron Donald ejected.
10 penalties, which I’m guessing aren’t part of the culture change Fisher was touting a month ago.
This is who we are.