The Los Angeles Rams are reeling, and unfortunately, are looking more and more like the team who many expected them to be early on in the 2016 NFL season. The Rams reeled off three-straight wins, with two coming against division rivals, after a brutal 28-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers to start the year.
At that point, the Rams were in first place and looked like they may very well be the real deal. Adding on to that, it seemed as though veteran quarterback Case Keenum had done enough to keep rookie Jared Goff on the bench.
Four games and five weeks later, the Rams are sitting at 3-5 and see their season on the brink heading into a Week 10 matchup with the New York Jets, a team who’s also reeling. Over the past two games, the Rams have managed a combined 20 points, while star running back Todd Gurley hasn’t topped the 100-yard mark all season.
If things keep going in this direction, it’s safe to say that changes are coming on the horizon, but it may be a long process before they’re all completely finished.
Let’s start off with head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead. Back in as late as mid-September, ESPN reporter John Clayton told 710 ESPN Seattle that Fisher was set to lock in a three-year contract extension. Just a month before that, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it was both Fisher and Snead who were expected to sign new deals to remain with the Rams.
Obviously, the rumblings of contract extensions for either guy is a topic that’s gone almost silent, specifically during the current four-game losing streak, and rightfully so. The changes for the Rams will almost certainly include both Fisher and Snead if things don’t turn around quickly, but that’ll be something that could wait until the 2017 offseason.
Current changes? Maybe something related to the aforementioned Goff. It’s going to be interesting to see how much longer the Rams will go before choosing to hand the keys to the offense over to the rookie from Cal, as they rank No. 25 in the league in passing yards per game at 227.7. To go along with that, the Rams are No. 30 in the NFL in points per game at 17.1, and if the offense doesn’t take a turn soon, the efforts from their talented defense will be wasted for the season.
The offensive line hasn’t helped the cause at all either, allowing opponents to consistently pressure Keenum while doing little to open up holes for Gurley, who has averaged just over three yards per carry this season. The changes likely need to start on that line if the Rams want to have any success in the near future, because if Gurley can’t get free, then it’s unlikely the offense will do much regardless.
Finally, the most amazing part of how bad things have been for the Rams lately is that they’re still completely within striking distance in the division. The Seattle Seahawks sit atop the division with a 4-2-1 record (heading into their Monday Night Football game), while the Arizona Cardinals are 3-4-1. Los Angeles currently holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over both.
Unfortunately for both Fisher and Snead, a change to Goff may not be enough to actually keep the Rams in contention. The duo is likely looking at nothing short of a miracle if they want to land a contract extension, and if they don’t, then the Rams will look elsewhere to give Los Angeles a winning team sooner than later.
Therefore, those two may not wind up being a part of making the other changes. From there, whoever owner Stan Kroenke decides to hire is going to likely be asked to make their main focus getting Goff completely up to speed.