The Los Angeles Rams transition to southern California has turned into a roller coaster ride of a season. Ownership has had to deal with the quarterback battle, their investment into the Inglewood Stadium, Jeff Fisher’s tenure and Todd Gurley’s presumed sophomore slump.
During their Week 13 matchup against the New England Patriots, it just seemed as though the Rams were outmatched. With Jared Goff making his third career start at Gillette Stadium, Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick put constant pressure towards the quarterback.
The experienced head coach understood that constant pressure was needed on the box, to slow Gurley’s production, while daring Goff to make risky throws.
For the game, Goff completed 14 of 32 throws, for 146 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. On the other hand, Gurley was limited to just 38 rushing yards on 11 carries.
The Patriots’ defense outclassed the Rams, as their only touchdown of the day came with one minute left in the fourth quarter and the outcome already decided.
The Rams have now lost seven of their last eight games, knocking them two games under .500 and guaranteeing a non-winning record. Gurley was asked about the production against the Patriots and stated that the Rams shouldn’t have any excuses, via TheRams.com:
“We work hard every week, but it just doesn’t come together on Sundays. Obviously that’s a great team we played today, but they’re one of the 32 teams, just like we are. Doesn’t make any excuse for us to go out there and play like we did.”
While Goff continues to get acclimated into the system, it spells trouble for Gurley. The second-year running back just hasn’t seen the same holes and creases the exploit, as teams have heavily stacked the box.
Although the offensive line hasn’t held firm this season either, the lack of a passing quarterback has shortened the field to work with. The 22-year-old has yet to eclipse the 100-yard mark this season, a telltale sign of the struggles he has faced.
The other drama regarding the Rams this week coincided with coach Fisher. After most outlets agreed that he was on the hot seat, Ram’s COO Kevin Demoff stated that Fisher receiving the blame is unfair.
That was followed up by a two-year contract extension for Fisher, securing him as the head coach until at least the 2018 season.
Gurley was asked if Fisher is the coach to lead the Rams to the postseason and responded by stating the loss is on the players:
“He has done it before. At the end of the day, he is not on the field. We are. We had missed opportunities and we, as players, have to step up and make those plays.”
The Rams have a Week 14 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, with a slight positive to end the season.
Three of the Rams’ four games to end the season are at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with the fourth contest staying in the Pacific Time zone (Seattle Seahawks).