We talked to Turf Show Times’ Joe McAtee ahead of Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams. Spoiler alert: He is not fond of Jeff Fisher.
What kind of team are the Rams? They got blown out in week one, and then (barely) beat the Seahawks in week two. How?
Ah, welcome to Fisherball, dear friend. See, this is how it works. You're good enough to beat the best, bad enough to lose to the worst. Confused? Don't be. This is what we do, year after year after year. The Rams went 2-0 against Seattle last year and headed into last week 4-4 overall against Seattle since Fish took over. It's part of the madness. Embrace it.
What happened with Jared Goff? Why is he not starting? And can he really be a worse option than Case Keenum?
YES. MORE FISHERBALL IS GOOD.
Goff looked lost during the preseason. He combined misplaced balls with discomforted field management with a repeated affinity for fumbling the ball. So it's not as if he did anything to win the job outright. The again, Case Keenum...well, he is what he is. Can Goff be worse than Keenum? Sure. Keenum's limited physically, but he's a half-decent game manager. The bigger problem is that Fisherball's offensive system is so, so, so limited. Since 2012, the Rams' offenses have finished 23rd, 30th, 28th and 32nd in yards gained. And right now they're matching last year's dead last pole position.
The bottom line with Goff or Keenum or Bradford or Hill or Davis or Clemens or Mannion or Sander Philipse is that it doesn't matter a ton. This offense is headed to one, unavoidable conclusion.
Has there been a player who's surprised this season, either positively or negatively?
Well, it's a bit tough in Fisherball, because he's loathe to roll with rookies early. Goff's exclusion surprised some, but DT Aaron Donald didn't even start for a month as a rookie and he's the single best player he's had with the Rams, sooooooo yeah.
I will say last week that CB Troy Hill, a second-year pro who was an UDFA in 2015 pressed into action after free agent acquisition CB Coty Sensabaugh was turning into a liability down the sideline, held up well. When he entered the game, the entire Seahawks offensive gameplan revolved around Russell Wilson picking at Hill. It didn't work.
If there's a negative, it's the offensive line in the run game. They just haven't found a way to give Todd Gurley space even once. For a team that anchors its entire offensive playbook off the run, that's not good.
Todd Gurley won Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, but is now averaging fewer than 3 yards per carry. Sure, it's two weeks in, but how concerning is that? And is that more about Gurley, the offensive line, or the offense as a whole?
It's bad. And for a franchise that saw a Hall of Fame-caliber running back wasted in his prime by some woeful offensive support in Steven Jackson, you'd think they'd be loathe to repeat that process BUT HERE WE ARE SANDER.
It's a function of the offensive line as well as the anemic passing game. The Rams played the Seahawks with their safeties about 20 yards off the line. Seattle was maybe half that. Teams are playing the Rams to the first down marker, and the Rams' offense just isn't giving them a reason not to. Until that changes, it's just going to be very, very hard for Todd Gurley to find any space to exploit.
When is Jeff Fisher going to be fired?
NEVER. DEAR LEADER WILL ALWAYS BE THERE TO PROTECT US. IN COLDEST WINTERS, DEAR LEADER WARMS OUR HEARTS. HE SHALL FOREVER MAINTAIN OUR FEALTY.