Week 3 Result: 37-32 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In one of the more bizarre finishes so far in 2016, the Rams sealed a win after a 69 minute lightning delay, improving to 2-1 for the first time in a decade. The Los Angeles Rams also scored their first touchdown since 1994, a 44 yard Case Keenum pass to Brian Quick, and eventually added four more trips to the end zone. Todd Gurley enjoyed his most successful outing of the young season, rushing for 85 yards and 2 TD’s, but his average of 3.15 yards per carry suggests the Rams run game is still struggling.
Jameis Winston racked up over 400 yards through the air on the Rams defense, and provided the game with a dramatic finish. Winston hit Mike Evans for a 7 yard TD pass with 2:15 left in the game to cut the Rams lead to 5 points. The ensuing Rams drive was interrupted by a 69 minute weather delay on 3rd down. When the game resumed, Keenum threw an incomplete pass, and the Rams were forced to punt. After a good return, the Buccaneers needed only 56 yards to reach the end zone, with 1:42 to play and two timeouts. Instead, Winston and company burned through the clock, and allowed time to expire at the Rams 15 yard line without using their final timeout.
Next Up: A divisional matchup @ Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
This game has huge implications for the NFC West picture, particularly if the Rams manage another upset. The Cardinals suddenly look very vulnerable, and the Rams should carry plenty of confidence after winning in Arizona 24-22 in Week 4 last year. Look for a healthy dose of Gurley. He should be very productive against an Arizona defense giving up 4.8 yards per carry, good for 3rd worst in the NFL. A 3-1 start would go a long way in establishing the “new” Los Angeles Rams.
- The Rams current status as the leader of the NFC West pack gets top billing... while it lasts. It’s difficult to believe they’ll stay in that position long, but a win against the Cardinals would go a long way toward delivering the team’s first winning season since 2003.
- #1 overall pick Jared Goff remains the backup to Case Keenum. This is a topic that has received plenty of attention, and will continue to be a major storyline until Goff takes over the starting job.
- Jeff Fischer’s much-rumored contract extension remains at large. Fisher, 29-37-1 since joining the Rams, is a source of much debate among the fan base. Regardless, an extension seems like a done deal, to be announced in the near future.