The 4-5 Los Angeles Rams went up against the 5-4 Miami Dolphins at home in Week 11. The Dolphins came out with the victory, winning 14-10. This was the first career start for number 1 overall pick Jared Goff.
- Jared Goff. In his first career start Goff didn’t blow anyone away with his stats but showed some signs he could have some potential to be a starting QB in the NFL. Goff finished 17-31 for 134 yards with no touchdowns & no turnovers. The no turnovers was a big thing that I liked to see from him & the Rams didn’t seem to open the playbook up much for Goff so I can’t judge him from this performance too much.
- Todd Gurley had running lanes. Even though Goff didn’t do much the running lanes seemed to open up a little more with him in there. Gurley only finished with 76 yards on 20 carries but he had his first 20+ yard carry in the first half where he ran a 24 yard touchdown. Gurley has rarely had room to run this season seeing 7-8 guys in the box all year. Hopefully Goff can help stretch the defense so teams have to start respecting the passing game which in turn would help Todd Gurley.
- Pass rush. The Rams elite defensive line was able to consistently pressure Ryan Tannehill sacking him 4 times & hitting him 8 times. Dominique Easley led the way with 2 sacks while Robert Quinn & Lamarcus Joyner both had 1. Aaron Donald surprisingly didn’t have one but did manage to get 1 tackle for loss & 2 QB hits.
- Shortened playbook for Goff. Jeff Fisher was raving all week how he thought if anything the playbook would expand with Goff under center because of his skill set but that didn’t seem to be the case at all. Goff had 31 pass attempts for 134 yards & averaged just 4.3 yards per pass attempt. I don’t think that was because he was scared to throw the ball downfield but because Jeff Fisher & Rob Boras the offensive coordinator came up with the game plan for him to just check it down when he could to avoid mistakes. Hopefully they let him loose in Week 12.
- Blowing a 10-0 lead. This wasn’t as bad as the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals with the first unanimous MVP but it was still bad. The Rams were up 10-0 late in the 4th quarter but the Dolphins scored touchdowns on their last 2 drives of the game. It’s hard to fully blame the defense for allowing them to come back because we rely on our defense too much but they were a part of the reason we lost.
- Stupid penalties. On the 2 scoring drives for the Dolphins late in the 4th quarter the Rams committed 2 dumb penalties that helped give away the game. On the Dolphins first scoring drive Alec Ogletree committed an unnecessary roughness penalty that cost the Rams 15 yards & on the Dolphins game winning drive Aaron Donald had a inexcusable roughing the passer penalty where he hit Ryan Tannehill in the head & cost the Rams 15 more yards. Rams have to eliminate these type of mistakes if they want to start to improve.
In Week 12 the Los Angeles Rams look to improve to 5-6 on the season as they travel to New Orleans to take on the 4-6 Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Rams have played better this season on the road as they are 3-2 in away games & are 1-4 at home which doesn’t mean much but was an interesting fact to me. Hopefully the Rams open the playbook up more for Jared Goff this week & allow him to push the ball downfield. It’s hard to see Saints losing at home but I see a redemption game for the Rams after blowing a double digit lead in Week 11. I say the Rams win 31-24.