Football’s back! Well, some of it. But not all of the Los Angeles Rams football we were expecting.
To this point, there’s been one singular factor dominating this game: the Oakland Raiders’ offensive braintrust outcoaching the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive staff led by Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips with TE Jared Cook operating as the lynchpin.
Yeah. Jared Cook.
But it’s been a fascinating exercise. Oakland has controlled the entire proceedings by maintaining an overwhelming time of possession advantage: 21:31 to the Rams’ 8:29. The Raiders have converted half of their six third downs helping them control the clock and the schematic development.
For the Rams, it’s been explosive throughout. Two huge PI draws from WR Brandin Cooks on underthrown balls from QB Jared Goff. A beautifully drawn up (and blocked) play for RB Todd Gurley who didn’t even need to be Todd Gurley to get in as he went untouched en route to the end zone.
But it’s been sloppy on both sides for us.
Gurley has just four carries for 19 yards in an entire half of football. Not exactly leaning into the reigning offensive player of the year. And Goff has just 60 yards off of 10 attempts and a paltry four completions. The Rams have yet to convert a third down after three attempts. And on defense, S John Johnson III has been routinely exploited in the passing game though he had a badly needed interception to kill an eight-play Oakland drive.
Has it been sloppy? Absolutely. Has it been a lack of preseason action? Well you knew that was gonna come up.
Has it been one half of football in what is going to be a long game and a long season?
Relax. Buckle up.
And let’s see if the Rams’ coaching staff can pull even with their opponents.
We’re gonna need them to in order to get out of this with a W.