2016 LA Rams Season Wrap-Up

I wrote earlier this year about how my Rams fandom started, and that my wife and I had bought season tickets for their return to LA. Needless to say the season hasn’t gone quite as I or any other Rams fan had hoped. The excitement of having my team back in my city that had grown during training camp and the first two games of the pre-season quickly faded during the disaster that was the Monday Night Football game against San Francisco. That 28–0 loss quickly grounded me back in reality and reminded me that these were still the Rams, and a move to a new city wasn’t going to change that.

The home opener against Seattle was a slog to a 6–3 that would be the only home victory Fisher and the Rams would produce to date. The two wins that followed were hard fought, but were enough to create some excitement. It was the first time that we’d go into week 5 with a 3–1 record since 2006. I’ll let that sink in for a little bit.

The 30–19 loss to the Bills at home stung, but if I’m honest with myself, I saw it coming. They were coming into the game emboldened by the shut out they had handed New England the week before. The game in Detroit the following week, I think, is where I realized that this wasn’t going to be the season that I’d hoped. It showed me that it didn’t matter if the offense finally found it’s flow. That game would be the best game of both Case Keenum’s (QB) and Kenny Britt’s (WR) careers. Yet the defense couldn’t hold the Lions back, and ended up losing the game 28–31.

The “we get in our own way” losing continued against the Giants in London, losing 17–10. But then we had a sweet respite, the bye week, followed by their return to LA for a home game against the Carolina. But again no dice, The defense kept the Panther’s score low, but the offense couldn’t deliver the goods in front of a frustrated home crowd who booed each dropped pass and began calling for Jared Goff. This 13–10 loss cemented the fact that Case Keenum would not be starting at the Coliseum again.

In Case’s final game as the starter in New York against the Jets, the defense kept the Jets to 6 points, but the offense was again anemic, winning the game on the leg of Greg Zuerlein (K) who scored 9 points. The following week it was announced that the prodigal son, the #1 overall draft pick Jared Goff was finally ready to make his grand debut in front of a home crowd in LA to take on Miami. The Weather and the Dolphins had other plans. We were ahead until the last 5 minutes of that game. It was pouring down rain, and when the Rams were on offense, you could hear the thundering “DE-FENSE clap clap” Chants from the Miami fans at the game. To be honest, it was demoralizing as a fan, I wanted to melt in my seat.

The two road games against New Orleans and New England were equally demoralizing, we didn’t even stand a chance. We were outclassed in every sense of the word, losing the games 21–49 and 10–26 respectively.

Our next home game against Atlanta was equally embarrassing. The Rams’ performance was so bad, that even Falcons fans were confused and began to feel pity for us, celebrating a Rams touchdown with us. We would lose that game 42–14.

The Monday after this game, the Rams decided to fire Jeff Fisher, which is something all of Rams fandom had been calling for for Months (or a couple of years if they followed the team in St. Louis). It took a while for me to wrap my head around the idea that this was a real thing. Elation took over my Twitter stream. John Fassel (our ST coach) was named interim head coach, and he was a breath of fresh air during press conferences. A Stark contrast to the obviously rehearsed and tired and retreaded lines Jeff Fisher would feed us ever week. Hopes were high, even if not for this season, we had something to look forward to next season.

Following the short week and coaching change, we met Seattle in Century Link Field to be publicly embarrassed by personified highlighters on Thursday Night Football, losing 3–24. The following week on Christmas Eve we played San Francisco at home. This game was reminiscent of the Miami game, and Coach Fassel said as much in his press conference after the game. Even with the 21–22 loss, this game was quite enjoyable. There something to be said about sharing a stadium with fans who are just as beaten down and dejected as you are.

Our last game of the season was the New Years Day home game against Arizona. And while the game was a 6–44 blowout, I have to say, I couldn’t even be mad. There were a couple of plays during that game, the direct snap to Tavon Austin that got called back due to illegal motion (bullsh*t?) and the lateral to Pharaoh Cooper who then threw it (quite well I might add) to Todd Gurley, which was intercepted, that made the game exciting, even though they didn’t work out as intended. And also, after waiting a whole season, we saw a successful punt fake throw from Johnny Hekker. And I just don’t hate the Cardinals, I know they’re our division rivals, but I actually kinda like them. And the fans weren’t like other fans, after the game, there was no chanting in the tunnels, there was not snap-chatting of Rams fans while asking them how they feel about losing to “X” team. They just went home happy.

Like I said at the top, Overall, the season isn’t what I’d hoped. I don’t think it was what any fan hoped. While a part of me knew that with Fisher at the helm at the beginning of the season, it’d be more of the same, I wanted to believe it’d be different. Obviously it didn’t turn out that way, it’s the worst season we’ve had since Fisher took over, but it was still fun to be at the games. As I noted when I bought my season tickets, being there in person and FEELING the excitement in the air during the pre-season, and during the flashes of brilliance throughout the season, was well worth it. I know some of it is the fact that it was they’re first season back, and I’m the first to admit that a lot of my negative feelings about this season are downplayed by the joy of having the team back in Los Angeles. So while the season didn’t go as I’d hoped, I had a great time. And I’m definitely hopeful for the future.

See you next season Ramily. Horns Up.