While the situation regarding Jeff Fisher’s firing still resonates with the organization, interim head coach John Fassel and the Los Angeles Rams still had a game to play on Thursday. While Fassel was given only three days to muster up a game plan, he, running back Todd Gurley and the team came prepared to play.
Playing on the road against the Seattle Seahawks means not only dealing with their physical defense, but the hostile environment the 12th man provides. Rookie quarterback Jared Goff took the reigns of the team and actually had an impressive start to the game.
The Rams drove down the field, getting into the red zone. Earlier in the drive, the Rams were able to execute a fourth down conversion. However, Gurley was stuffed on a fourth and one right inside the 10-yard line, thus ending the drive with a turnover on downs.
Gurley once again faced another tough day from the backfield, facing the ferocious front seven of the Seahawks. The offensive line hasn’t produced consistent results, which provides many hostile situations for Gurley.
After the game, Gurley was asked about the circumstances facing the Rams and stated that both teams had just as much time to prepare, via TheRams.com:
“It was very difficult. It was already difficult enough having three-four days to prepare for a game and deal with your head coach getting fired. At the end of the day, that’s no excuse. They got to play ball just like we do.”
For the game, he took 14 carries for only 38 yards, with one reception for -2 yards. The presumed sophomore slump for Gurley has created quite the circumstance, as the team has no foundation of a running game.
Because of that lack of ground attack, Goff has been forced into many unnecessary passing situations, resulting in more hits to the quarterback. Goff was sacked four times during Thursday’s contest and has been sacked at least three times in each of the last four games.
Gurley emphasized that Goff has been getting hit way too many times, stating that no team can have success when their quarterback is being hit around.
The second-year running back went on to say that Fassel implemented a strong game plan for the Rams, with the first drive proving the results. However, the Rams were unable to cash in on the situation and suffered from there on out.
Upon placing blame on the offense for not continuing to execute, Gurley provided some real situations regarding the outlook of this team. When asked about the roster giving it their all, he stated that the next head coach of the Rams will see the results in the film room:
“You’re playing for your job because that next head coach that comes in is definitely going to see an effort on film. And if he doesn’t like it, then you might not be here.”
Fassel also reiterated that notion, stating that these last two regular season games are an audition for many players who haven’t yet made a name for themselves.
While Goff continues gaining reps and experience at the NFL level, the entire roster has a chance to give it their all, in order to leave a strong foundation heading into the offseason.