Jeff Fisher and the Los Angeles Rams entering a Wee 14 showdown at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum against the Atlanta Falcons. Playing against one of the high-powered offenses in the NFL, Fisher and the defense will have their hands full.
However, the offense can help alleviate some of the pressure on the defense, facing off against Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and their passing attack. The Rams’ offense has been anything but consistent these past few weeks, as rookie quarterback Jared Goff continues getting experience and reps on the field.
In order for the Rams to have a chance at winning, they need to put some points on the board. Holding the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL to less than 14 points is not reasonable.
When asked what the main concern for the Rams will be entering Week 14, offensive lineman Rodger Saffold gave a smart response, via Myles Simmons of TheRams.com:
“I would say it’s fair to say, because I think a big thing for us is really getting the time of possession,” offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said. “So, what does that mean? Being able to convert third downs, keep drives alive. Because as much as we can keep him off the field, the better it’s going to be.”
The third down conversion rate is the key point to take away, as the Rams haven’t been able to get multiple, lengthy drives consistently this season. The team has been averaging close to 10 yards on their third down possessions, which presented long passing situations and many failed conversions for Goff.
Fisher announced that Goff left their practice on Thursday due to an illness, but Fisher reiterated that Goff is fine and will play on Sunday.
After signing the two-year contract extension, it seems as though the Rams do have a long-term plan in mind around Fisher and Goff. When asked about executing their game plan, Fisher stated that keeping Ryan off the field will be key:
“We like our plan and we’re going to have to get it going — just to keep Matt off the field because they’re so explosive offensively,” Fisher said.
In order for the team to keep Ryan off the field, the Rams have to have convertible third down scenarios. When stacking the box to nullify the run, Goff may be faced with a lot of passing scenarios.
However, Todd Gurley and the offensive line need to be able to convert some short-yardage runs on Sunday, rather than getting no gain or being sent back.
If Gurley and the Rams can present some manageable third down scenarios, Goff should be able to convert third downs and thus extend their time of possession, while keeping the Falcons’ offense off the field.