By Joe Torosian
(Each Monday is the day we triage our teams and players. Assess damage to our egos and standing in the sports community and put in place what we are going to do, say, and believe about sports this coming week.)
“Eight miles high and falling fast…”
I like the fight in the Los Angeles Rams. They haven’t played well all season, but they continue to find ways to come back and stay in contests they have no business being in. I think from the top down the organization is stable.
So don’t panic…
There, I’ve remained rational, but here are some things they have to do. Not think about…but do.
The offensive line is not great, but it is far from horrible. And when the offense signals to the defense it only has to worry about one thing–the pass–instead of to two, it’s job becomes nearly impossible.
Run the ball. Pretty please, with sugar on it, run the blanking ball!
Run the ball. Don’t say you can’t run the ball until you’ve proven you can’t run the ball.
Don’t say Gurley can’t run the ball when we know Malcolm Brown can. They basically hired a guy from a car wash last year, and he became the team’s best running back down the stretch.
Don’t say Gurley’s workload is being managed. That’s what Brown is for.
Run the ball and fail—it will be okay. Keep using Gurley and Brown alternately. It will work.
What doesn’t work is play-action and fake pitches to Gurley when you haven’t even given him the ball once.
“Hello! McVay! You’re a slacker!”
Everybody knows the Rams playbook now. It is time to adjust. It is time to make adjustments, not scrap everything, but when the guy sitting on his lazy boy in The RamCave can call the next play, it’s time hit shuffle.
It’s time to run the ball, preferably between the tackles.
That will force defenses to consider the possibility of a run, make them hedge their bets on all-out blitzes, and passing lanes will open.
In the immediate…There’s probably some file cabinet that has game film from Chuck Knox’s first go-round with the Rams. McVay needs to find it, turn out the lights, and watch another running back wearing number 30—Lawrence McCutcheon—run the ball. Since fullbacks are forbidden, maybe they can even put Tyler Higbee and/or Gerald Everett in the backfield as an H-Back to lead Gurley.
(Speaking of a blocking tight end it sort of makes you long for the days of (Chino Hills/UCLA alum) Cory Harkey.)
Everybody is familiar with what Wade Phillips is going to do on defense. It’s time for an upgrade. What were the significant acquisitions this offseason? Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews? These guys are not bad, but hardly impactful. They have a combined 24 years of NFL tread on their tires.
The Rams are in a championship window for a few more years, they need to act like it. They need to consider someone like Jalen Ramsey and not worry about “precious” draft picks they won’t be taking until the 25th spot or later.
Like the Raiders deal for New England corner Mike Haynes during the 1983 season that put them over the top…They need to take a hard look at Ramsey or other options on some of these sinking, 1-3/0-4, ships around the league.
Sunday was a wake-up call…Thursday night in Seattle we’re going to find out if the Rams got out of bed and off the porch or demonstrating the definition of insanity.
Bruce Arians might be the most underrated head coach in NFL history. Imagine if he had been Jameis Winston’s HC from the start? After what he did with high mileage, extremely battered, Carson Palmer at the end of his career, think what he could do with Winston if the kid can earn a second contract to remain in Tampa Bay?
Nothing worse than having to sit through the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football… I understand the enemy of my enemy is my friend…But in this particular case, I wasn’t sure who was who, or which was which.
But I do know that I’m 4-0 in fantasy football. Who is like the El Monte Jets? Who is able to make war with them?
And just when I bench Leonard Fournette on my fantasy team, he rushes for 225 yards. BTW how much did the Jacksonville Jaguars spend for Gardner Minshew? And how happy are they that Blake Bortles is playing with the Rams?
(And “Rams-fans” are calling for Bortles to see time over Goff—madness.)
Do the Jags have an opt-out on Nick Foles?
Yesterday answered the questions as to why Jay Gruden and the Washington Redskins wanted to sit Dwayne Haskins for at least a year.
The Detroit Lions are anything but an easy out.
Josh Rosen survived a second game starting for the Dolphins.
Just when things look like they are over for Marcus Mariota, it’s the Atlanta Falcons to the rescue.
Baltimore–what happened? Mark Ingram needs to carry the ball more than 12 times.
Note to Sean McVay: A good running game (Nick Chubb) can make a young quarterback’s (Baker Mayfield) job a lot easier…and when the team scores 40-points (Cleveland Browns) the team usually wins.
Nariyoshi Miyagi once said: “Balance McVay-son. You must find balance.”
Last Add Rams: If Bruce Arians & DC Todd Bowles figured out the Rams offense, what do you think Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are going to do?
Last Add Regarding Gardner Minshew: How much are the Minnesota Vikings paying for Kirk Cousins?
Said it last week…I’ll repeat it…I like Matt Fink…Nothing negative towards the Glendora alum, but USC’s loss at Washington proved, again, why Kedon Slovis was ahead of him on the depth chart.
In the Do Fink a Favor Dept: Fourth and goal, late in the contest, and the Trojans don’t call a Run-Pass option for Fink and his legs? Instead, they throw a low percentage fade to the corner? Bad call Mr. Helton! Lousy football Mr. Helton!
Well, UCLA’s “DTR” is now back to being Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Washington beats Milwaukee
Atlanta beats St. Louis
Los Angeles beats Washington
Atlanta beats Los Angeles
(Joe T. rejoices. Joe T. gets insulted by everyone for being a Mets fan.)
Tampa Bay beats Oakland
New York beats Minnesota
Houston beats Tampa Bay
Houston beats New York
(Network Executives have heart attacks)
Houston beats Atlanta to win World Series.
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b