QB Jared Goff was the number one pick in the 2016 NFL Draft for the Los Angeles Rams. He was sacked 26 times in 8 games. That’s 3.25 sacks a game to go along with a paltry 136 yards passing (per game) and more interceptions (7) than TD’s (5) while tossing in a couple of lost fumbles. Not the results you want from any QB, let alone the number one pick in the NFL Draft.
It’s not all bad news however. Indications clearly point to a general dysfunction with the coaching staff and scheme rather than the player. So what has happened and why should it be any different this season?
In 2016 lack of a running game produced 1.252 yards on the ground and 9 TD’s while giving up 1,660 yards and 12 TD’s while having one of the most dynamic RB’s in the NFL Todd Gurley. Time of possession was dominated by the opposition and Goff was hammered behind a tattered line when he finally began starting games. I haven’t seen that many jail-break sacks since
Chrissy Jim Everett got abused so badly he would hear steps while still in the locker room. The 32nd ranked offense (yes, that’s dead last) was reflective of the entire teams dysfunction.
I have to (finally) give credit to the Rams front office. Rather than foolishly continue to put their heads in the sand they (finally) fired .500 coach/GM/cook/bottle-washer Jeff Fisher. They weren’t done. It was obvious to everyone not wearing a Rams coaching kit the problems began with a horridly under-performing offensive line that was faced with stacked box defenses. Rather than continue to trot out first round mistake Greg Robinson at left tackle the team signed FA LT Andrew Whitworth to man the position and traded Robinson both admitting and correcting another (serious) mistake from the previous era.
Goff is up to 220 lbs from his 215 rookie weight to better handle the rigors of the position and has been focused this offseason. There have been no Ryan Leaf like offseason distractions. Goff is a professional. He works hard. He can make the throws. He has a nice deep ball. The WR corps, which was sub-par has been given like treatment as the offensive line. Under-performing talent has been shown the door. Youth has been injected. It’s NOT the same song and dance with the team expecting different results. Real changes have been made.
The game had passed HC Jeff Fisher by many seasons ago. The club now has one of the best DC’s in the league (Wade Phillips) to pair with a creative OC in Matt LaFleur. HC Sean McVay had his troops motivated and focused through OTA’s and the energy levels are high. The problem with the 2016 LA Rams was not the QB, it was the same issue the team had had for many seasons. Mediocrity defined by their coaching staff had doomed the team to .500 ball. It’s a new world now for the Rams faithful. It’s about time.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over
Photo by Praveer Sharma