Rookie Rams running back Todd Gurley was third in the league for rushing (1,106 yards & 10 TDs), despite missing three full games
Every team faces certain challenges during the off-season but for the Rams, 2016 also meant relocation to a new city 1,800 miles across the country. It’s been more than a decade since the team posted a winning season (12-4 SU in 2003) and at 7.5 Under (-150), the oddsmakers suggest that slump will continue.
LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES
Win-Loss: 7-9 SU and 7-9 ATS
Over/Under: 4-12 O/U
Noteworthy: The Rams lost five games in 2015 by 14 points or more. In the past 25 years, only 40-percent of these blowout victims were able to register a .500 record or better the next season and with the Hawks/Cards (twice each), Panthers and Pats, the Rams face one of the league’s tougher schedules.
Jared Goff (California) was regarded as the best QB in the draft and Los Angeles moved up to secure him with the first overall pick. Goff is competing against Case Keenum but odds are good that he’ll start in Week 1 at San Francisco.
RB Todd Gurley looked great at OTAs so the Rams have a solid QB-RB combination to build around, but there are question marks at wide receiver and O-Line. The hope is that with true first teamers guiding the offense, second-year O-Co Frank Cignetti will be able to generate some consistency and help take pressure off his line. St. Louis QBs were only sacked on 3.7-percent of dropbacks last year (3rd overall) but thier completion percentage ranked 30th (57.7) and they averaged just 5.2 YPP (T-24th). Opponents were able to key on Gurley and after rushing for 128-plus yards four times his first four full games (Week’s 4-8), he was only able to crack 90 yards once the rest of the way.
The Rams defense ranked eighth overall and although they’ve shed some big names (DE Long, LB Laurinaitis), D-Co Gregg Williams is convinced his unit is ready to contend with top division rivals Seattle and Arizona. They’ll face all three NFC West foes during the first four weeks and then again from Week’s 15-17, setting up a ‘Before and After’ test that will determine this team’s playoff potential.
TEAM TRENDS: PANTHERS at RAMS, Week 9
Fisher’s all-time record off a bye week is 14 overs and 7 unders and after playing in Detroit (Week 6) and London (Week 7 vs. NYG), he’ll get a chance here at home to go all out vs. the powerful Panthers. Look for total in the mid-40’s and circle this game as a potential “Over” opportunity.