In Week 5 the 3-1, “How the hell were they leading the NFC West???” Los Angeles Rams took the field at home against the 2-2 Buffalo Bills who were coming off an impressive 16-0 win over the Brady-less Patriots. The Bills ended up beating the Rams 30-19 improving to 3-2 & now they have won 3 games in a row against the Cardinals, Patriots, & Rams. On the Rams side of things they fall to 3-2 & continue to lose games they should win like they’ve done so many times under Jeff Fisher.
- Solid running game. The Rams this year have had trouble getting any type of running game going (again because of the lack of a passing game most likely) but in this game they rushed for 102 yards on 29 carries & a touchdown as a team which isn’t great but at least it’s solid. Through 5 games the Rams are 26th in rushing with only 409 yards on 133 carries. Todd Gurley finished with 23 carries for 72 yards & a touchdown in this game which isn’t great but it’s nice to see Rams aren’t shying away from using him. The Rams are also starting to use Gurley in the passing game even more with Gurley getting 8 catches for 85 yards in the last 2 weeks.
- The Keenum-Britt connection. Going back to last season it seems like Case Keenum & Kenny Britt have been on the same page for the most part. This year Britt has had 4+ receptions & 67+ yards in each game this season. Britt is averaging 71.2 yards a game which is ranked 23rd best in the NFL & is just .6 yards less per game than Odell Beckham Jr. & just 1 yard less than Larry Fitzgerald per game. Keenum struggled in this game but he kept his connection with Britt going in the right direction.
- Greg Zuerlein. Zuerlein was one of the few bright spots in this game but that’s not a good thing. The Rams offense dating back to last year has been one of the worst red zone efficiency teams in being able to score TDs being the 23rd best team in 2015 with a 52.78% conversion rate. In 2016 it’s gotten even worse with the Rams being 44.44% which opens the door for Young GZ to make field goals. In this game Zuerlein was 4-4 on field goals with his longest being a 54 yarder. On the season he is 9-9 so it’s nice to know we can count on him to get us an easy 3 points.
- QB play. Case Keenum looked like the Keenum we saw in Week 1 against the 49ers when the Rams got smacked 28-0. Keenum just seems to struggle hitting throws he should make & struggles to see the field well especially while under pressure. In this game Keenum finished with 271 yards but no touchdowns & 2 interceptions. Keenum has struggled for the most part in the first 5 games this season with a 38 QB rating which is last in the NFL for QBs who are eligible to be rated. Keenum now has more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) with throwing 2 terrible picks in this game & no touchdowns.
- Poor passing protection. The Rams allowed 4 sacks in this game with 3 of them coming from Lorenzo Alexander who mostly rushed on Greg Robinson’s side. Greg Robinson has struggled a bit so far this season at left tackle for the Rams. Case Keenum isn’t a great starting QB but he’s going to be even worse when he’s under duress.
- Poor run defense. I know the Rams were missing 3 starters on their D-Line in William Hayes, Michael Brockers, & Robert Quinn but with the depth we have we shouldn’t be letting teams run all over us. The Bills were easily able to run the ball in this game finishing with 193 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown while having 7.1 yards per carry. LeSean McCoy led the way with 150 yards on 18 carries for a 8.3 yards per carry average.
- Trumaine Johnson injury. Trumaine Johnson got injured in this game with an ankle injury. Johnson is a big loss every game he’s out because Jeff Fisher has said he’s “week to week” so I’m assuming he’s most likely going to be out for at least this week. If Johnson is indeed out this week Troy Hill is looking like he will step in for Johnson as the corner opposite E.J Gaines. The Rams earlier this week cut Coty Sensabaugh who they signed to a 3 year $19 million contract this offseason. The Rams went out & claimed former Jaguars CB Dwayne Gratz off waivers.
In Week 6 the Los Angeles Rams (3-2) will be taking on the Detroit Lions (2-3) at Ford Field. The Lions are coming off a 24-23 win over the undefeated Eagles in Week 5. The Lions offense played pretty well with Matthew Stafford throwing for 180 yards & 3 touchdowns & Theo Riddick finished with 49 yards rushing & 33 receiving yards with 2 touchdowns. If the Rams want to win this game they have to stop Theo Riddick in the receiving game. The Lions just signed Justin Forsett this week from free agency because of their need of an improved running game but I don’t know how much play he’ll get in this game. I predict Rams bounce back from their bad showing in Week 5 in Week 6 beating the Lions 27-20.