The Los Angeles Rams won this week, starting out 3-1 for the first time since 2006. With the win, the Rams have backed themselves into a tough position, now needing to lose an extra two games this year to uphold their 13 year tradition of not delivering winning seasons.
Week 3 result: 17-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals
In a defensive battle that was tied 10-10 at halftime, the Rams took a 17-13 lead with 2:36 to play on a 4 yard Case Keenum-to-Brian Quick connection. The defense then picked off Cardinals backup Drew Stanton twice in the final minutes to seal the victory. The Rams forced five turnovers, and are now tied for 2nd in the NFL in takeaways.
This game had major NFC West implications, as last year’s division champion fell to 1-3, and a new contender has emerged at 3-1. Carson Palmer left the game, and underwent concussion protocol after being sacked by Aaron Donald and Eugene Sims late in the 4th quarter. He’ll likely miss the upcoming Thursday Night game against the 49ers.
Offensively, the Rams rushing struggles continued, as Todd Gurley manged only 33 yards. Gurley is now averaging 2.6 yards per carry for the season, much to the chagrin of fantasy owners that made him 4th overall in average draft position. Case Keenum’s efficient passing, and the Rams kick return team provided just enough to pull off the upset in Arizona.
Next Game: Home against the Buffalo Bills (2-2)
Since parting ways with offensive coordinator Greg Roman after Week 2, the Bills have rolled over two playoff contenders - first the Arizona Cardinals, then handing the Patriots their first home shutout since 1993.
Gurley’s tough sledding may continue, as the Bills bring to town a run defense ranked 8th in yards per carry. They are also sack machines, ranking 3rd in the NFL with 13 through 4 games. Look for another ugly defensive battle.
Jeff Fisher Watch: Turf Show Times has been running a frequent “Jeff Fisher Approval Poll” that is pretty entertaining to track. 83 percent of respondents wanted him fired after the 28-0 loss to the 49ers, compared to 34 percent today. Fisher is highly likely to receive a contract extension.
Aaron Donald is good at football. Greg Resenthal at NFL.com points out that Donald’s Pro Football Focus grade is more than double any other defender in the NFL this year. Donald may be a strong contender for Defensive Player of the Year.
The Rams starting out 3-1 is obviously the big story in Los Angeles. Given their track record with slow starts, it could end up being the difference between 7-9 and 9-7. The Rams are in the NFC West driver’s seat, but if there’s a team that can be trusted to crash that car, it’s the Rams.