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Next Up for Los Angeles: The Rams

October 30th, 2018 · No Comments · NFL, Rams

So much for the Dodgers. Realists had no hope for them, once they coughed up Game 4 and, truth be told, even if they had tied the series at 2-2 … them winning two of three from Boston, with two of those games played at Fenway … well, it just seemed really unlikely. The Red Sox were clearly the better team

Luckily, generic fans of Los Angeles sports have another team upon which they can place their hopes.

That would be a certain team that plays in the Coliseum. And we are not talking about the USC Trojans.

Ladies and gentlemen: We present for your viewing pleasure … the Los Angeles Rams.

The unbeaten, 8-0-for-the-first-time-since-1969,  Rams.

They pretty much knocked around their early opponents (see: Rams 33, Raiders 10; Rams 34, Cardinals 0; Rams 35, Chargers 23), but they have been tested several times of late — three games decided by three points or less, including a nervous-time 29-27 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

That game was notable in that Packers fans seemed to make more noise than did Rams fans, and may even have outnumbered them, which is fairly embarrassing. A big factor: The Packers’ near-century commitment to Green Bay compared to the peripatetic Rams’ third season in their second incarnation as a Los Angeles club.

But the fastest start since mad genius George Allen was coach of a team loaded with recognizable players like Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen … well, the current club seems to be gaining acceptance, led by 32-year-old coach Sean McVay and third-year quarterback Jared Goff.

The victory over Green Bay was good for the Rams, because it pointed up some of their issues. They are not a finished product, two years after a 4-12 mark in 2016.

The Packers played really well, defensively, especially in the first half, and some of the things they did probably will appear in the game-planning of future opponents — especially getting pressure on Goff, which he really doesn’t like.
Goff may be the most pocket-y of just about any pocket passer we have seen in recent years. He wants to stand in there for about four seconds, move little (if at all), and then pick out his receiver. (Thankfully, his accuracy has gone from pathetic to excellent, behind a line that has been upgraded.) He also does not seem particularly adept at recognizing when he is a split-second away from getting hit. I think that inevitably is going to lead to strip sacks.
(He was sacked five times on Sunday, by the blitz-happy Packers, but held on to the ball.)
Look for more blitzes, in the future, and hope the Rams don’t run into many more teams with DBs who can cover like those Packers guys did. Especially the rookie Jaire Alexander; had never heard of him, but he was really good. The offense finally broke through — but it required a high level of pinpoint-passing by Goff, and a break here and there — such as the Packers’ fumble on a kickoff return that prevented Rodgers from getting back out on the field in the final minutes.
The Rams are good, but as the season goes on we begin to see where they are vulnerable. Their secondary, for example.

No one should ever think “16-0”, but the Rams have been the league’s only defeated team for a couple of weeks now.

Schedule is about to get tougher: at New Orleans (6-1), home vs. Seattle (4-3), home vs. Kansas City (7-1) on a Monday night.

Then comes a bye week, and if the Rams are 11-0 …

The Dodgers? They are so last weekend.

If the Rams stumble, next up for the SoCal market would be the Lakers and LeBron James.


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