After starting off the season 3-1, the Los Angeles Rams have lost three consecutive games, putting them at 3-4 heading into their Week 8 bye week.
In Week 7 starting quarterback Case Keenum threw four interceptions leading to a 17-10 loss to the New York Giants. After the game head coach Jeff Fisher received many questions about whether he plans to stick with Keenum moving forward, or turn the franchise over to No. 1 overall pick in 2016, Jared Goff.
The Rams traded up to draft Goff with the top pick in the draft, but after and up and down preseason Fisher decided that Goff was not yet ready to start, saying that Keenum will start until Goff is ready.
Fisher maintained that thought after the loss to the Giants, saying that Goff is still not ready. Goff received some reps with the first team offense this past week in practice though, and Fisher said he liked what he saw out of the 22-year-old.
With two weeks of practice ahead of a home game in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers, who are currently 2-5, should now be the time to turn to Goff? Daniel Starkand and Eric Avakian of Rams411.com debate:
Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand)
I think now is the perfect time to turn to Goff. The Rams gave up four draft picks to get him, so they obviously think that he is going to be something special. At 3-4 it looks as if the Rams are headed for mediocrity once again, so I do not see the point in having a journeyman like Keenum as your starting quarterback.
Even if Goff is not yet ready, practice reps are not going to prepare him for the speed and pressure of an NFL game, so might as well get him in some games and see how reacts while also getting him some NFL experience going into next season when the keys will likely be turned over to him for good.
If Goff struggles then Fisher can put him back on the bench in favor of Keenum, and Goff will know what he needs to work on in practice.
While Fisher is going to stick with Keenum in Week 9, I do think that we see Goff starting for the Rams at some point this season.
Eric Avakian (@AvakEric)
In my opinion, I don’t think it is quite the time to insert Jared Goff into the starting role. Head coach Jeff Fisher has been extremely patient with their No. 1 overall pick, stating he isn’t starting from the get-go.
Although the Rams lost three straight games into their bye week, they still remain in the playoff contention amongst a division they can succeed in. Two of their three victories this season have come against the NFC West, with a 9-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks and 17-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Rams have one remaining game against Seattle on the road, where they defeated them during the 2015 season (23-17). It seems as though Fisher has a strong, consistent game plan in store against the Seahawks, which have given results. The Rams have won three straight games against the Seahawks.
The Rams also defeated the Cardinals on the road, setting up a home game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Five of the remaining nine games this season are at home.
Although the Rams have four losses through seven games, Keenum can’t take the full blame. There were reported miscommunications happening on the field between the players, which can’t happen at the NFL level.
I believe Fisher should continue riding out Keenum, as it is reported that Fisher’s fate will be sealed in the next four games regardless. If he stuck with Keenum from the get-go, why subdue to the organization and fan’s demands if you believe he isn’t ready for a starting quarterback workload.