After jumping out to a 3-1 start, the Rams have lost two straight games to get back to the comfort of .500. Jeff Fisher must be pleased.
Week 6 Outcome: 31-28 loss to the Detroit Lions (3-2)
In the most Case Keenum way possible, the Rams QB had both the best passing performance of his career, AND managed to throw the game ending interception. Keenum completed 27 of 32 for 321 yards and three touchdowns on the day, but trailing 31-28 with one minute left, he threw a pick to Lions safety Rafael Bush to put the game away.
Jeff Fisher met his weekly quota of second-guessing material. Tied 14-14, with four seconds left in the first half, Fisher elected to run the ball from inside the one-yard line rather than attempt an easy field goal to take the lead. It’s not the worst coaching decision in the world (or even Fisher’s most head scratching call in the last 7 days) but it failed, and the Rams missed on an opportunity to take the lead at halftime. It was an easy outcome to predict, considering the state of the Rams run game. The Rams O-Line is the worst unit in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, and has produced the second worst yards per rush this season. The decision to pass up three points in a 31-28 loss will likely haunt the dreams of Rams fans all week.
The game was a close battle, with five lead changes. The Rams went up 28-21 to start the 4th quarter, but on back-to-back possessions allowed Mathew Stafford to engineer an 84 yard, 13-play touchdown drive to tie, and a nine-play field goal drive for the lead. Keenum got the ball back with 1:29 to go, and two plays later threw his lone INT that ended the Rams hopes.
The Rams run game has really struggled this season, but it was a surprise to see Todd Gurley with only 14 carries against a Lions defense giving up the second most yards per rush in the NFL.
Next up: London vs the New York Giants (3-3)
The Rams and Giants kick off in London at 6:30 am PT on Sunday, meaning most people in the Rams home market will sleep right through the game. London NFL games have a lackluster track record, with 7 of the last 10 being decided by two touchdowns or more.
These .500 teams look like a decent matchup on paper. Both teams feature a Wide Receiver coming off a career performance. Giants star wideout Odel Beckham Jr. racked up eight catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns and Rams WR Kenny Britt caught seven passes for 136 yards and 2 TD’s on Sunday. The Giants bring to London the 3rd ranked passing offense in the NFL. The Giants 30th ranked run game is abysmal, but is still averaging better yardage per carry than the Rams.
The head coaching switch from Tom Caughlin to Ben McAdoo hasn’t yielded much change for a Giants team that has missed the playoffs for four straight seasons. The biggest issues have been on defense. The Giants D is a poor unit, ranking 19th in yards allowed and is dead last in sacks. The team is also dead last in turnover differential. Not a recipe for winning football.
The 49ers don’t have the least productive Tight End group in the NFL! In fact, the Rams are among several teams producing less at the TE position.
Rookie Pharoh Cooper was expected by some to play a big role for the Rams this season, but was inactive for the first time Sunday.
Looking ahead, the Rams have a bye week after their London matchup. Could a poor performance by Case Keenum prompt a switch to No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff? Don’t put money on it, but it’s possible.