The Los Angeles Rams had the most hapless Week 1 showing of the NFL, getting blown out 28-0 by the San Francisco 49ers Monday night.
While the vaunted Rams’ defence failed to impress against the likes of Blaine Gabbert and Carlos Hyde, the offence looked even worse, failing to even get attempt a field-goal during the entire game. Every Rams possession ended in a punt or turnover.
Suffice to say that even with a (likely) still-solid defence and a star running back in Todd Gurley, it may be a long year in Los Angeles.
The early returns make the Rams’ decision to trade up to No. 1 in the draft to take Jared Goff look even worse. The Rams traded six total picks to the Tennessee Titans to get the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft. Included in the haul was the Rams’ 2017 first- and third-round picks, with no 2017 picks coming back from the Titans.
After gaining only 10 first downs and failing to score all game against a team many consider to be one of the worst in the NFL, the Rams may wish they had their first-round pick back this year — it may be a top-three pick.
Making matters worse is that Goff began the season third on the Rams’ depth chart. Goff failed to impress over four preseason games, completing just 45% of his passes for two touchdowns, two interceptions, and three fumbles. After the preseason, head coach Jeff Fisher said that while Goff had improved, he wasn’t ready to be the second quarterback behind Case Keenum (that title went to Sean Mannion).
Given that Keenum just threw for only 130 yards with two interceptions, however, Goff can’t be buried too far down on the depth chart. At the very worst, the Rams may quickly decide that they won’t be a very competitive team this year and choose to give Goff as many reps as possible.
Of course, this is only one game and it’s far too soon to decide how Goff is as a pro-level quarterback. However, what’s not working in the Rams’ favour is their schedule: four of their next eight games come against above-.500 teams teams last season (the Seahawks, Cardinals, Panthers, and the Jets) with the other four coming against teams expected to be more competitive this season (the Buccaneers, Bills, Lions, and Giants). Of their first nine games, the 49ers would have been circled by most as the easiest opponent. Instead, they soundly defeated the Rams.
If Week 1 was a sign of things to come, the pressure on Goff to become a franchise quarterback will only build, because the Rams may be giving up a potential franchise player to the Titans next spring.
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