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It's a short week so the Rams have to move on

All of the anticipation and build up heading into the 2016 season for the Los Angeles Rams quickly dissipated following a disappointing 28-0 loss against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

The Rams had the look of a team that simply was not ready for moment of being on a national stage for their first game as a relocated franchise. 

This primarily stemmed from their offense that put together an absolutely forgettable performance against the 49ers compiling just 185 total yards. In the team’s 14 offensive drives for the game, there were 11 punts along with three turnovers including two interceptions. They also had eight drives that resulted in three-and-outs and zero trips in the red zone.

Los Angeles simply struggled to get anything going on that side of the football due to a combination of poor blocking up front, bad decision making from starter Case Keenum, and an utter lack of success on third down converting just three of 15 opportunities.

“We expected to go in there and compete, and win the football game. I didn’t expect to go in there and get beat 28-0,” Fisher said. “Offensively, we couldn’t make plays. It’s a combination of bad decisions at the quarterback position, and drops at the receiver position. When you look at games like this, what happens is...I’ll take, for example, the offensive line. You’ve got five guys up there that are going to grade out really well, in a loss, but each one of them had a mistake.

“If you add those five mistakes in critical situations, that costs you a third-down conversion, that costs you an opportunity to score. We had mistakes; we had too many mistakes at different positions at different times, it added up.”

Despite that, Fisher has remained committed to Keenum as the team’s starting quarterback heading into the home opener on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. This may have also opened the door a little ajar for rookie Jared Goff with the possibility of being moved up on the depth chart as the team’s backup ahead of Sean Mannion.

“No I haven’t, I will,” Fisher said of the Rams’ backup quarterback situation. “There’s that chance, too (that Goff is the backup). He’s pushing along; this whole experience for Jared was good – not good for our team, but good for him to see all this. We’ll decide later in the week.”

What also stood out in Fisher’s mind was his team’s inability to rush the ball with All-Pro running back Todd Gurley, who had just 47 yards on 17 carries with a meager 2.8 yards per carry. The Rams just couldn’t move the ball on the ground against the 49ers, who struggled last season giving up the fourth-most rushing yards. Gurley also had experienced plenty of success in his lone meeting against San Francisco dashing for 133 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown.

“Well they didn’t let us – they weren’t going to let us – their whole defense was setup to that,” Fisher said. “We had, probably, a half-dozen runs that were close to getting unblocked to the safety with Todd, it’s just that close. Their commitment was to stop the run and then try to get us to make the plays outside. But we wanted to stay with the run because it’s the run game that helps you get the plays outside.”

On top of that, Los Angeles displayed an utter lack of discipline by allowing frustration to take over by committing 10 penalties totaling 102 yards. This included a couple involving team captains Gurley getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing the ball at an opponent and Aaron Donald getting ejected in the fourth quarter after making contact with an official during an altercation with another player.

“Todd was a little frustrated when he flipped the ball past the official and it landed in the hands of an opponent. The learning experience from that is just give it to him, put it on the ground,” Fisher said. “Now with respect to Aaron, Aaron was playing really hard, and there was some chirping going on in that little scrum.He shouldn’t have done it, but he kind of pushed (WR Quinton Patton) 11 away. The officiating department got involved. One of the officials put his hands on Aaron, and Aaron, just didn’t know him, he just slapped hands down, so that’s what he was ejected for.

“When you have time to look at it and be realistic, that’s how those things play out. But, we addressed it. These are two captains that had significant penalties in this game, and we just can’t have that.”

The Rams will have to quickly learn from the loss and shift their entire focus to a more than capable opponent in the Seahawks, who have been the toast of the NFC West for the the last several years.

“Everybody is either 1-0 or 0-1 right now, our focus is on Week 2 and that’s what gives you a chance. It’s a good group, they’re disappointed, they’re disappointed in each other but they’re together,” Fisher said. “The defense understands that they’re going to need the offense and the offense understands that they’re going to need the defense and special teams will balance it out. They’re together right now and they’re ready to compete this week and get ready.”

 


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