New coach but same Rams as Seahawks win

By Ron Clements 16 December 2016 174
New coach but same Rams as Seahawks win

Not even a head coach could inspire the Los Angeles Rams, who lost 24-3 to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL on Thursday.

After the Rams were blown out by the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, running back Todd Gurley said Los Angeles have what looks like a "middle-school offense." Jeff Fisher was fired as a result.

Fisher's firing did little to improve things as the Rams were still dysfunctional in a loss that was every bit the "poopfest" expected by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. 

Neither offense could muster much, but the Rams were especially bad. Los Angeles were already last in total offense, but their 173 yards on Thursday was 113 yards below their season average. 

Rookie quarterback Jared Goff was 13 of 25 for 135 yards while consistently missing open receivers. 

In five starts this season, the top pick in this year's draft has been the NFL's worst at completing deep throws. On throws of 10 yards or more, Goff is nine of 32 for a completion percentage of 28.1 percent. No other NFL quarterback has a percentage lower than 35. 

Even when Goff did make a good throw, they were dropped as rookie Mike Thomas did on deep pass in the first quarter. 

The Rams offensive line, especially left tackle Greg Robinson, continued their disappointing season. The second overall pick in the 2014 draft was beaten often by the Seahawks, who sacked Goff five times and held Gurley to 38 yards on 14 carries. 

Goff left the game midway through the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion after taking a big hit on a play that did not count. He scrambled away from pressure and thought he was coasting for a touchdown, but got blasted by Sherman at the two-yard line. But none of it counted because Rams tackle Andrew Donnal was called for holding. 



Fassel said he will talk with Goff to make sure he does not take a hit like that again. 

"You admire his courage," Fassel said. "But you just have to get out of bounds."



Even punter Johnny Hekker had trouble completing a pass on Thursday. When John Fassel, the Rams' special teams co-ordinator who is now the interim head coach, dials up a trick play for Hekker, it usually works. But he short-armed a pass to an open Thomas on a fake punt attempt in the second quarter.

The fake punt was one of four failed fourth-down attempts for the Rams on Thursday. The mistake led to a Seahawks field goal.



Hekker is still one of the few bright spots the Rams have on their team. He is likely headed to his third Pro Bowl for what has been a record-setting season. Hekker averaged 50 yards on four punts and leads the NFL with an average better than 46 yards. Of his 83 punts this season, only one has been a touchback. His 46 punts inside the 20-yard line are an NFL record.



The offensive ineptitude wasted a solid effort by the Rams defense, which held the Seahawks to 94 rushing yards on 30 carries and 321 total yards. It has been a common theme for the Rams (4-10), who have had the NFL's worst offense each of the last two seasons.

The Seahawks (9-4-1) clinched the NFC West with the win, but hardly look like a Super Bowl contender. The Rams, who were eliminated from the playoffs with last Sunday's loss to the Falcons, have not had a winning season since 2003. Thursday's loss ensured their 10th season with double-digit losses during that stretch. 

It might get worse before it gets better for the Rams. Because they moved up 14 spots to take Goff with the top pick in this year's draft, the Rams do not have a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

About Author

Ron Clements

Related News