Sunday, August 6, 2017

Los Angeles Rams - 2017 NFL Season Preview

LOS ANGELES RAMS                                              

2016 Record - 4-12-0 

Head Coach - Sean McVay

Offensive Rank - 32nd  (263 yards per game, 14 points per game)

Defensive Rank - 9th  (337 yards allowed per game, 24.6 points allowed per game)

Second year quarterback Jared Goff will have the chance to start from day one this season after sitting the first ten weeks in his rookie year. Goff passed for 1,089 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven games. The backups are Sean Mannion and Aaron Murray.
Running back Todd Gurley will be looking to have a bounce back season after a sub par 885 yard effort in 2016 (3.2 yards per carry) and just six touchdowns. Tavon Austin (58 receptions, 509 yards, three TD) is back along with free agent Robert Woods (51 receptions with Buffalo) to lead the wide receivers. Rookie draft picks Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington) and Josh Reynolds (Texas A & M) will have opportunities this season. Temarrick Hemingway, Tyler Higbee and rookie Gerald Everett (South Alabama) will be the tight ends.
The Rams will employ the 3-4 look this season as longtime journeyman coach Wade Phillips takes over as the defensive coordinator. Phillips has history of putting top flight defenses on the field. 
The defense will need Aaron Donald (contract holdout when training camp started) to lead the way again after getting eight QB sacks last year. Also in the mix is linebacker Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree and cornerback Trumaine Johnson. Rookie John Johnson (Boston College) will challenge for a safety position.

OUTLOOK FOR 2017 - Sean McVay takes over as the head coach in L.A. and the Rams now have some competition in town as the Chargers have relocated from San Diego this season.
The Rams must get better on offense this season. In 2016, they averaged just 14 points per game and were dead last in offense in the league. Goff will need to improve at quarterback as well as Todd Gurley getting back to his rookie year form when he was among the top running backs in the game.
The defense is solid (number nine in the NFL a year ago) but needs to get better in the red zone as they ranked in the lower half of the league, allowing nearly 25 points per game.
While they did beat NFC West top dogs Seattle and Arizona last season, the Rams lost twice to San Francisco. If they want to be competitive in the division, the Rams have to score more points, but that won't come easy as they transition to Goff and a cast of new faces in the passing game.
Expect another bumpy ride this season for the Rams as they look to move up in the NFC West, but unless some big things happen, they will likely go 6-10 and be out of the playoffs once again.

Week One - vs. Indianapolis
Week Two - vs. Washington
Week Three - at San Francisco
Week Four - at Dallas
Week Five - vs. Seattle
Week Six - at Jacksonville
Week Seven - vs. Arizona (London, England)
Week Eight - BYE
Week Nine - at NY Giants
Week Ten - vs. Houston
Week Eleven - at Minnesota
Week Twelve - vs. New Orleans
Week Thirteen - at Arizona
Week Fourteen - vs. Philadelphia
Week Fifteen - at Seattle
Week Sixteen - at Tennessee
Week Seventeen - vs. San Francisco

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