Last week, I gave Keenum a D+ and, well, people thought that was too kind.
Here’s the thing. It’s going to be hard for a QB to anything outside the C or D range in this offense. I’d only grade three of Nick Foles’ 11 starts in 2015 outside that range, and he played himself out of the job.
The Rams just don’t have a system that allows QBs to flourish under Fisherball. Did Keenum’s lack of turnovers help this week more than in Week 1? Sure. But gaining just 239 yards on 30 attempts without a touchdown... Look, nine points rarely gets you a win. That it did yesterday is hardly an effect of the quarterback position.
And for Week 2’s Sunday schedule to be capped off by Sam Bradford of all people heading into Minnesota and taking over the Vikings’ offense once Adrian Peterson left injured...well, that should tell you something about the constraints of the Rams’ offense and the quarterback overseeing it.
Kenny Britt has offered a decent release valve for Case Keenum in the first two weeks.
I guess that’s something.
Is this as good as it can get though?
Rough going in the run blocking game yesterday, but Lance Kendricks made some nice plays in the passing game. And for all the preseason hype surrounding rookie TE Tyler Higbee, he has one reception for two yards through two games...
Upgraded from an F based on the quality of opponent.
Todd Gurley continues to have no room to operate. Case Keenum took a significant dose of punishment.
This is going to end badly...
That’s the Rams D-line we know and love.
Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn and William Hayes terrorized Russell Wilson all day and Michael Brockers was constantly forcing Seahawks rushing plays off intent.
Alec Ogletree was all over the place.
Mark Barron was a missile.
Expect a thread on this this week, but Coty Sensabaugh is a liability. I’m guessing that’s not why the Rams signed him on a three-year, $14m deal.
That he was replaced by Troy Hill, a 2015 UDFA who is on his third NFL team in the Rams, says something both about Sensabaugh but also about the Rams’ ability to identify cornerback talent. This is a franchise that drafted five cornerbacks in three years from 2012-14 on top of signing Cortland Finnegan in 2012 and then Sensabaugh in 2016. You had Lamarcus Joyner freaking out on Hard Knocks that he was being squeezed out of the position.
You have to wonder what the logic behind the approach here is when, with E.J. Gaines out injured, you can plug in two backups in Sensabaugh and then Hill and still get above-par performances from the unit when there are others clearly struggling with the full complement of starting talent available.
P Johnny Hekker is his usual Pro Bowl self. K Greg Zuerlein was perfect. The Rams kept the Seahawks’ advance teams units smothered all day to maintain the edge in the field position game.
If Fisherball required top-tier special teams to succeed, the Rams have gotten them in the first two games. Full credit to all the ST groupings.
Jeff Fisher is nothing if not comfortable letting time carry him.
His dedication/confidence/stubbornness/hubris is well-documented, but yesterday is a perfect example of why he feels as much. He stuck to the same gameplan for 60 ugly minutes, and in the end he was validated for doing so. The Rams got just enough on offense to let the defense and special teams carry the team to a win.
Fisherball works. Not all the time. Not even often. But it works. And had the Rams had just an ounce of dynamism to their offense yesterday, which can happen against most NFL defenses just not one the caliber of the Seahawks’, the Rams could have opened up the game.
It’s not pretty. It’s not always fun. But when it works...well, it works.