Sports Medley: Goff
No Panacea 21 Nov 16
by Tony Medley
All the fans and sportswriters who were crying crocodile tears because
Jared Goff was not starting at quarterback for the Rams got their wish.
The result was disaster, but readers of this column should not have been
surprised. Coach Jeff Fisher didnít have the confidence in Goff to allow
him to throw the ball downfield, so he was limited to short passes,
mostly quick-hitting slants.
What he showed off in
this game is that he is not going to make people forget Kenny Stabler in
terms of accuracy. At least three of his 17 completions (almost all
short passes) were poorly timed, thrown behind the receiver, and were
completed only because the receivers made exceptional catches. At the
end of the game, when he had to throw accurate sideline passes to work
the clock, he did not come close to even one receiver.
The Ramsí offense
continued to be awful. Had Case Keenan started the game, the Rams
probably would have won because, at this stage of their respective
careers, Keenan is both a better quarterback and a much better passer.
As I have pointed out
all season, the Ramsí problem is not at quarterback; it is their woeful
offensive line. And because they traded all their draft choices to get
the rights to draft Goff, the chances of them improving the offensive
line for next year are slim unless their wisdom-challenged owners are
willing to get decision-making personnel who know something about
winning football games, and pony up big bucks to sign free-agent
offensive lineman in the off-season. Donít hold your breath.
But letís be fair
here, since 2012 head coach Jeff Fisher has had full personnel authority
so the blame for where the Rams are falls squarely on his shoulders.
Teams with the right
coach making personnel decisions can turn around fast. Vince Lombardi
took over the Packers in 1959 after a 1-10-1 season. His first year he
improved them to 7-5. His second year he took them to the NFL title
game. Jeff Fisher is in his fifth season and has never had a winning
record, going 7-8-1, 7-9, 6-10, 7-9, and 4-6 so far this year; hardly
Why losers lose:
With 5:32 left in the fourth quarter with the Bears trailing the New
York Giants 22-16, the Bears had a second and 18 on their 5 yard line
when running back Jordan Howard dropped a short pass with
running room. At third and 18 he dropped another short pass with running
room, so the Bears were forced to punt. The Giantsí Dwayne Harris
fumbled the punt on the Giantsí 35 yard line. The Bearsí Jay Bellamy had
the ball right in his hands but was unable to hold on and the Giants
retained possession. Later, with third and seven on their own 33 yard
line with three minutes and 40 seconds left, Howard dropped another pass
that would have given them a first down on the 50 so they were forced to
punt again. When you botch four plays like that (three in a row) in the
last six minutes of a six point game, you canít expect to win.
In the Rams-Miami game, there was an off-side penalty against the Rams
and a blocking in the back penalty against Miami. The referees ruled
that the penalties offset. In such a situation, when there is a major
penalty against a minor penalty, the penalties should not offset. Both
should be enforced. In this instance the Rams should have been penalized
5 yards and Miami should have been penalized 10 yards for a net 5 yard
penalty in the Rams favor. Only when there are two infractions with the
same penalty should they offset. When there are infractions on both
teams that have unequal penalties, both should be enforced.
Another rules change
The penalty for four defensive infractions; roughing the passer,
roughing the kicker, defensive pass interference, and defensive holding
awards the non-offending team a first down.
Why are defensive holding and defensive pass interference infractions
penalized with an automatic first down? Often with third and long, like
3rd & 25, thereís a short gain but the defense is called for
defensive holding and the offense gets a first down. This is inequitable
and should be changed. Roughing infractions are egregious and should
face serious penalties, but when itís 3rd and long and
thereís a defensive holding call thereís no earthly reason why it should
be penalized by an automatic first down.
football game of the season has traditionally been against USC. Next
Saturday is ďRivalry Saturday,Ē but UCLA plays Cal. Whatís up with that?