The Rams started the 2016 season slow with their pitiful showing on Monday Night Football with a 28-0 loss against the 49ers. As a longtime Rams fan I’ve gotten use to the disappointing seasons & all the turmoil but even the game in week 1 vs. the 49ers was a hard one to stomach. The image of Aaron Donald throwing his helmet after being ejected perfectly resembles how the night went for the Rams.
- No injuries. The Rams had a bad showing in this game but it could’ve been even worse (if that’s possible) if they walked out of this game with a serious injury to the likes of Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, Alec Ogletree, Trumaine Johnson, etc.
- The secondary looked formidable. Although they played against Blaine Gabbert the Rams secondary didn’t look too bad in this game only giving up 170 passing yards & 1 touchdown (maybe giving up 170 yards & a TD is a negative especially against a QB like Gabbert). Trumaine Johnson also did a great job blanketing Torrey Smith all game only allowing 2 catches for 13 yards.
- You can’t play much worse than this right??? I guess a positive to take from this is it’s hard to think that the Rams can have a worse game this season. But with the Rams you never know. The Rams just have to move on & forget about this game immediately because there is nothing they should take out of this game that can help them this season (unless it’s telling them they should play the complete opposite as they did in this game).
- The passing game. Case Keenum had an abysmal showing against the 49ers in week 1. He finished the game with only 130 yards, no TDs, & 2 INTs which gave him a total QB rating of only 5. A QB rating of 5 was by far the worst in week 1 for all 32 starters in the NFL with the 2nd worst being Robert Griffin III who had a QB rating of 22.2.
- The running game. Todd Gurley had a terrible game resulting directly from the lack of a passing game the Rams have. The 49ers did a great job containing Gurley by stacking the box & forcing Case Keenum to beat them with his arm which obviously worked in the 49ers favor. Gurley finished the game with a miserable 47 yards on 17 carries for 2.8 yards per carry.
- Lack of pass rush. Coming into the 2016 season everyone (including me) has been saying how the Rams have the best defensive line in the NFL. In week 1 against the 49ers the Rams had 0 sacks on Blaine Gabbert & rarely even touched him. You got to give credit to Chip Kelly & the 49ers who came out with the gameplan to get the ball out of Gabbert’s hands as fast as possible to help defuse the Rams elite pass rush of Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, William Hayes, & Michael Brockers.
- Missed tackles. The Rams constantly were missing tackles in the open field that they had to make. One missed tackle that stood out was the 3 yard TD run by Shaun Draughn in the 2nd quarter. The 49ers on the play ran a simple stretch play where Draughn went outside & the Rams safety T.J McDonald had a clear shot to take him down around the line of scrimmage but instead Draughn easily shrugged off McDonald with a stiff arm while McDonald was hopelessly grabbing at Draughn while he walked into the endzone.
Moving Forward: The Los Angeles Rams will be making their home debut at the Los Angeles Coliseum welcoming their division rival Seattle Seahawks in week 2. If Case Keenum plays like he did in week 1 we should be seeing a new QB step in whether it be backup Sean Mannion or rookie QB Jared Goff. The Rams should see an improvement in their pass rush going against a terrible offensive line of the Seahawks who allowed 3 sacks to the Dolphins in week 1. The Rams have had the Seahawks number the last 2 seasons going 3-1 in the 4 games they’ve played each other so we should be in for a competitive game (hopefully).