The Rams are Back in LA, Will They Make the Super Bowl?

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It’s been 21 long years, but my Rams finally made their way back home to Los Angeles!  While they’ll technically be playing in Inglewood, it’s a heck of a lot closer than St. Louis.

I saw that the Chargers have the option to lease and “share” the new stadium for a year once it opens in 2019, but I’m hoping they either move out of town or do something that doesn’t involve sharing stadiums.  Both the Bolts and Raiders can move on for all I care!

It’s been a few years of ups and downs for the Rams record-wise, but I’m optimistic that the move will invigorate the franchise.  I pulled their odds to win the Super Bowl next season from BoydsBets.com, who list them at 50-to-1.  That’s not a great outlook by any means, but it’s similar to teams like the Dolphins and Redskins, and I’ll take that at this point.

Now, the big news is Jared Goff coming in at QB.  It’s hard to tell what to think of him.  He looked good at Cal, but I am a little concerned about his trouble with fumbling the ball.  Either way I’m sure it’s going to take him a season or two to feel comfortable making the transition to the pro game.

The good news is that the Rams have a great running game and defense to pick him up, so as long as he doesn’t try to do too much – and they don’t try to put too much on him right away, he’ll have room to develop.  That defense looked downright filthy last year, especially against the rush and when it came to getting to the opposing quarterbacks.

I’ll be looking forward to many many years of enjoying the Rams back in LA.  It’s been far too long since Los Angeles has had their own NFL team (I don’t count the Raiders brief stint).  I think they’ve done well in the latest draft and will end up in the playoffs this year.  Am I being too optimistic?  No way!  I have a feeling the excitement of coming to LA for most of these guys will be enough to feed them to at least 9 wins in a relatively weak division!

The Seattle Seahawks have been on top for way too long.  They have had to start paying their guys and when you do that, important pieces fall to the way side.

Arizona was nice last year but both Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer are getting old.  I see them as being past their peak and the downfall will come quicker than you think.

 

Rams Select Jared Goff

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Do we have a face for the new franchise in LA?  I sure hope so.  There were rumors about trying to lull Peyton Manning out of retirement for a year or two in order to have him build up some momentum for the new team, but instead we traded up in the draft to select Jared Goff out of Cal.

I can’t say I was too surprised we went with Goff.  Both general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher stayed quiet, but it was too hard to pass up on this home grown talent.

Goff was kind of a late bloomer when it comes to his draft prospects.  It’s not like Cal lit the world on fire in any of the years he was under center.  He didn’t make a run at a Heisman trophy or put up massive numbers.  He doesn’t have too much athletic ability to pass up on either.  His arm isn’t a cannon, but he is very accurate on short to mid-level throws.

What he does have was the ability to make difficult throws.  Especially when he was under pressure.  Cal never did put a solid offensive line in front of him and yet he still had a pocket presence that NFL team’s crave.  He could buy time for his receivers to get open by sliding around.  Plus, he went through his reads quickly and showed that he could process information fast before releasing to the correct target.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Goff start the Rams first game back in Los Angeles.  Fisher’s future with the team will be tied to his success, and he has to develop Goff quickly if he wants to have any chance of keeping his job.

The good news is that the Rams success isn’t going to depend solely on him.  This organization has done a great job of building through the draft. Todd Gurley was an animal in his rookie season.  The offensive line is young but full of decent draft picks.

The defense is the strength.  The Rams might possess the best front four in the game which will help keep scores low and LA in it until the end.  The secondary lost a few big names but the team reloaded as best they could through the draft.

The Rams gave up a lot to get their man.  If he pans out, none of that will matter.  If he doesn’t, it will put the team in a significant hole going forward when they want to restart the building process.