At the halfway point of the 2016 NFL season, the horrid LA Rams are only slightly better off than I predicted before the start of the season. I felt that the Rams would begin their “homecoming” by losing eight of their first nine games, but they surprised me with wins against Seattle and Tampa Bay. However, since, they have clearly rounded into form, with four straight losses including today’s home loss to a struggling Carolina Panther’s team.
The easy part of the Ram’s schedule is next week, when they play the dead-in-the-water New York Jets (whose off-season expectations led me then to think would be a clear loss for the Rams) and they may well get their fourth, and quite possibly last, win of the season. After the Jets’ game, the Rams then play a series of teams against whom they have absolutely positively NO chance of beating: Miami, New Orleans, New England, Atlanta and then the rematch against Seattle. Following that stretch, they play their second game
against the 49ers, who have now discovered if not winning ways at least an offense, behind Colin Kaepernick. That game is at best a tossup for LA, but after that they close out the season on New Years Day against Arizona. Whether or not the Rams have a chance in that one will depend on whether or not the Cardinals are in or out of a playoff race and on who is playing quarterback for Arizona. At this point, I’d say their second half record will be 1-7, for a season’s record of 4-12, and ending with seven straight losses.
PLEASE let this be the end of Jeff Fisher, the incompetent trojan douche who should have NEVER lasted even through his last season in St. Louis. AND take with him the miserable bountygate architect who should have been banned for life from the NFL, Gregg Williams.
That said, on to the quarterback issue. I’ve made it clear that the trade to move up to the number one draft spot was beyond ludicrous and the choice of Jared Goff even more so. But, at this point Case Keenum has now over and over revealed his inability to be a winning NFL quarterback, and leaving him as the full time occupant of that position for the Rams is pure and simple a waste of time, effort, resources and goodwill. But, the answer is NOT in any way, shape of form Goff, who at best will be a journeyman in the
NFL. But kiddies, the Rams have someone else, a quarterback who clearly was the best and most effective signal caller during the exhibition season, Sean Mannion.
But, alas, politics have kept Mannion off the field, and usually out of uniform. Were Mannion to be even the backup to Keenum, let alone the starter, and let alone a WINNING starter, it would be a devastating blow to the entire management of the Rams, from Fisher on up to Les Snead and to Kevin Demoff and to Stan Kroenke as well – a virtual admission that they royally screwed up with Goff, having a much more talented and potential winner right there on the roster, in Mannion.
You know, it did not have to be this way. Three simple things could have occurred and the Rams today would be over .500 and competing for a playoff spot. First of course is the oh-so needed FIRING of Fisher and replacing him with any competent coach out there. Second would have NOT to have made the franchise-killing trade to move up and select Goff, but instead, using those draft choices they gave away for a pile of beans to select a WIDE RECEIVER WHO CAN CATCH THE BALL. Third, and equally important as FIRING Fisher, is to NOT have dumped Nick Foles, who should have remained the team’s starting quarterback. In case you missed it, Foles stepped in last week at Kansas City for
the injured Alex Smith and has now led the Chiefs to two straight wins, not unlike his great almost season-long streak a couple of years earlier in Philadelphia.
In his two games this season, Foles, 2-0, has thrown three TD passes and has not been intercepted in 55 pass attempts, while compiling a QB rating well over 100. Keenum, conversely, has a QB rating in the 70s for the season, and over his last two games has thrown two TD passes versus FIVE interceptions.
It’s too late to undue the trade up in the draft or the drafting of Goff or the trading of Foles, but it is NOT too late to FIRE Fisher and to make Mannion the starting quarterback.