Some people are fans of the Los Angeles Rams. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Los Angeles Rams. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: GUHHHHHHHHHHH
Your 2018 record: 13-3. NFC Champions. Huh. That 13-3 reminds me of ANOTHER 13-3 somewhere out there. What 13-3 could that be? Oh yes, right…
Three points. Three fucking points. The 12th-highest scoring team in NFL HISTORY, and they end up playing offense like the fucking Jaguars with a title on the line. You complete pieces of shit. The Philadelphia Eagles had the common courtesy to swat down the Pats dynasty the season before, and you chumps had to go letting it right back in through the front door. As my colleague Luis Paez-Pumar noted, the Rams had just three drives over 30 yards in that game. They resulted in a field goal (which would prove to be the Rams’ only points), a pick, and a missed field goal. The rest of the day was a puntkakke that was spiritually stage-directed by Adam Gase. The Rams, together with the Chiefs, were supposedly the future of this sport. And yet I never want to watch this fucking sport again thanks to the last time they appeared on my television. The Rams’ best highlight from that game was C.J. Anderson fumbling the ball out of bounds. They capitulated so utterly to New England that they’re ruined forever. They should fold.
Your coach: Upmarket Eric Mangini, who can photographically memorize jet sweeps he called six years ago and whose brain is its own tape vault. And yet, Sean McVay is the same guy who forgot that the Superdome can get loud, and the same guy who clumsily tipped off the Patriots to the fact that he almost never runs the ball out of a certain formation. Reducing McVay to a garden-variety pud coach took virtually no effort at all on the part of Bill Belichick. Belichick even cribbed a three-level zone defense from the LIONS for that game, and it worked. McVay couldn’t do a thing about it. Here we have this boy wonder who had supposedly revolutionized football, and all Belichick had to do to break his brain was disguise some coverages.
You wasted my day, Sean McVay. Next time you make the Super Bowl, how about you memorize the script of Raising Arizona and recite that out loud while your team fills its diaper with bloody stool out there? I could use the distraction. This man is Joe Philbin with hair gel and weird facial hair…
You gotta shave the cheeks a little there, kid. I know you think you look like Seneca Crane with that grooming, but you have a hair curtain pulled in front of your mouth. Maybe you should study more tape of Norelco ads. Lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history. Jesus Christ. You owe me money, you neatly trimmed penis.
The good news is that McVay got to keep his strength coach after the latter was found not guilty of sexual battery. So YAY. Is there an offensive powerhouse in this league that is not ALSO a haven for accused sex offenders?
Your quarterback: Disneyland animatronic doll Jared Goff, who plays like a god right up until the helmet radio switches off. After that, you get this…
You know how quarterbacks get too hyped in the opening quarter of a Super Bowl and overthrow everyone before finally settling down? Yeah well, Jared Goff never settled down. He may as well have played the entire game naked, with SYSTEM QB spray-painted in gold across his asscheeks. He could throw 50 touchdowns this season and I’d still trust him about as much as I trust a Mickey D’s drive-thru order. I hope he and Halle Berry got to hump at the Beverly Wilshire last year, because there’s no way Halle still has interest after watching THAT game.
If Goff gets hurt this season, this is what awaits you in the bullpen. OH SHIT YEAH. You can totally tell it’s Blake Bortles in that photo, because he looks like he could conceivably be the father of half the Rams’ coaching staff. Bortles arrives in L.A. as a reclamation project after the Jaguars finally put him on Craigslist the way they should have done years prior. I am of two minds on Bortles as a Ram. On the one hand, it would be amusing if he got called into a game and committed all his usual acts of Bortlemania. But it would be even MORE amusing if Bortles, under McVay’s tutelage, put up the exact same numbers as Goff, stole Goff’s job, choked in the playoffs, and exposed this outfit as permafrauds everyone now knows them to be. Either way, I can’t lose. The Rams, on the other hand, would go 5-67.
What’s new that sucks: Bortles isn’t the only piece of flotsam to wash up by the Santa Monica pier. You guys also lucked into Clay Matthews! OH WOW. Finally, Clay Matthews has arrived in Hollywood to fulfill his destiny and star as Boris in True Romance 2: White Boy Day. Oh, and here’s Eric Weddle too. Eric Weddle is 7,000 years old. That beard of his isn’t for show. It’s because he’s an ENCHANTER. Also, Ndamukong Suh left the Rams after a show-me year to cash in with the Bucs and watch his own career die.
Otherwise, this Rams roster remains as potent as it was a year ago, with a few spare flourishes. The first is that the immortal Cooper Kupp is BACK:
Whoa hey you’re telling me a guy is HEALTHY? In the offseason? No way. Cooper Kupp has all of Julian Edelman’s explosiveness, but only in his leg. The second thing you need to know is that Todd Gurley’s knee is almost certainly haunted by the ghost of Sam Bradford.
He’s reportedly dealing with arthritis, though the team hasn’t confirmed that diagnosis, and has been limited in his work throughout the summer.
So promising. Nothing ever goes wrong when a prominent football player is suffering from a chronic mystery ailment. In case you forgot, the Rams needed C.J. Anderson to carry the load once Gurley’s knee started giving off wisps of crimson smoke late in the season. As a result, Gurley only had 10 carries in that miserable Super Bowl loss. So I don’t wanna hear about how the man hasn’t had any setbacks this offseason. That kind of smooth progress tends to happen when you’re not playing football. Then the games start up again and suddenly you’re on a plane to Hamburg to get first-trimester miscarriage stem cells shot directly into your cartilage. Gurley will retire in November to take art classes with Andrew Luck.
What has always sucked: This is how the Rams operate. They’re due to move into their giant sperm cell of a stadium in Inglewood a year from now, and so everything leading up to that moment has to scream NEW! They’ve got a new breed of innovative coach! They’ve got a newly prolific quarterback! They’ve got new ways to avoid getting flagged for PI! These aren’t your Jeff Fisher Rams! These new Rams do shit! Please buy a personal seat license for the cost of a new home in Palos Verdes! Then your newfangled Rams go to the Super Bowl, hoping to kick off their return to Los Angeles in winning fashion, and they look like the oldest, slowest, shittiest football team from 1982. Nothing changes, and your faith in them to un-fuck this sport turns out to have been horribly misplaced.
The Rams took one big shot at a splashy title, and now they’ll be stuck in cap hell for a decade after pissing it away. They’re going to be the animated corpse of a Good Team that goes 10-6 for the next five years and never wins dick. And their payoff for all this supposed innovation is an old stadium that’s 40 percent filled with opposing fans and a new stadium that will be 40 percent filled, period. The pitch failed. L.A. would rather greenlight a sequel to Mortdecai than watch another Rams game.
Even if the Rams had WON that Super Bowl, I promise you only Magic Johnson would have given a crap. He would’ve posted his 60 favorite active Rams on Twitter and then included, like, Cedric the Entertainer on his list for some reason. The rest of L.A. would have given zero fucks. All a title would have done would be to make season ticket packages even more unreasonable. This is the same engineered/fluky success scam that the Rams pulled on St. Louis, only most football fans in Los Angeles are wise enough to remain indifferent to them, and to their repugnant slug of an owner with his morning DJ hairpiece.
When Stan Kroenke bleeds Inglewood dry and gets bored, he’ll fuck off to some other city to try the scam once more, leaving unpaid bills and cultivated mediocrity in his Clive Christian No. 1-scented wake. The Chargers remain poster children of misbegotten football sojourns into greater Los Angeles, but the Rams will end up doing far more damage to a city and a culture that never asked for them to begin with. This team, and its leadership, have been solved by everyone else. Permanently.
What might not suck: Aaron Donald. Aaron Donald is Bane in pads. I fear him. I wish he played somewhere cooler.
HEAR IT FROM RAMS FANS!
Imagine being a Parisian in the spring of 1940. The hated Germans are once again up to their old shit, and it’s time to settle the score once and for all. They look menacing as usual, but this time you’re prepared. Your country has more tanks, spent vast amounts of money building fortress walls on your border, and honestly the French army just looks superior on paper overall. Not only that, the Germans look way past their prime. I mean come on, they just lost their last war when some backup country like the United States came in and tipped the scales against them at the last minute.
You’ve spent years building for this very moment. France is about to secure its glory for decades to come. Even if you lose, by god they won’t win without every square inch of soil being drenched in German blood. VIVE LE FRANCE
And then before you’ve even had time to digest your baguette, the Germans walked around your unbreakable fortress walls, dumped your superior army into the English Channel, and there’s actually an SS officer in your house right now demanding to see your ethnicity papers.
If the Rams never won another game I’d be happy.
Always and ever, fuck Stan Kroenke. Let’s go Blues.
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1. Stan Kroenke
2. Gurley’s old man knees
3. Getting to the mountaintop and letting loose the wettest fart of an effort in the same season they beat the Chiefs 54-51. If you’re gonna screw the pooch, at least be entertaining.
The last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl, I watched the game from the hospital where my wife had given birth to our first child. So at least the terrible outcome of that game was mitigated by the miracle of new life, blah blah blah.
Seventeen years later, the Rams failed again—against the SAME opponent with the SAME goddamn coach and the SAME goddamn quarterback. Jesus Christ, Rams, you were supposed to WIN this time to counter the cold, hard reality of my now-teenage son.
I’m gonna spend the next 6 months hearing every AM radio Football Thinker and NFL Network Stepford Analyst ask questions about Goff’s ability to be anything more than McVay’s hand puppet, and after that performance I have no idea how to respond.
The best part is, we could have a perfect season in every way, and Kawhi and AD just ensured that no one in LA will give one flying fuck about the NFL the second October rolls around.
I moved back to my hometown of St. Louis in 2013 and invested quite a bit of money into tickets, concessions, apparel, believing naively that the Rams were really close to getting over the hump and making a playoff run in the coming seasons. Heck, the LA rumors were just noise. After all, Stan was a Missouri guy! He helped them move to St. Louis! Why would he leave?
Fuck Stan Kroenke with a rusty roof support from our decaying downtown dome. And fuck the NFL for letting his kind do what they do.
I’ve had to watch this team have a prolific offense get tied, gagged, and sodomized by the Patriots in the Super Bowl twice now. But if they’re not doing that, they’re sucking dick and being irrelevant. I’m not sure which is worse.
The Saints got fucking jobbed and even the zebras had to admit it. A Pats/Saints SB would have ended the careers of FancyDog, Gronk.,and the entire NE dynasty on the spot and in a spectacularly humiliating fashion. Brady had a 72 QB rating and the Pats scored a weak-as-fuck 13 points. Brees would have sent them all home in body bags.
And yet, given that soft offensive effort and seemingly summoning the bloodlust to strangle the life out of Brady, what did the Rams actually do instead? For those of us paying attention, we were rewarded with Goff’s total rectal failure on the Deepwater Horizon scale. He stood there with giant eyes and looked like he was collecting autographs. Could we have rolled out Roman Gabriel and let him itch his nuts in the pocket and still moved the ball better than Football Gollum? You know we could have. Half the Rams offensive plays went for zero yards or less. Don’t worry though, Gurley was absolutely healthy! He torched the Pats for 35 yards!
Fuck Stan Kroenke Vlad the Impaler-style with Hiccup’s Flaming Sword.
I’ve had to deal with it all: Brenda Warner, running Steven Jackson into the ground, Sam Bradford’s contract forcing the NFL to change rookie wages, Tavon Austin’s re-signing, and Jeff Fisher going 7-9 in perpetuity. Not being from St. Louis, the move to LA did not affect me, but I also now have to contemplate that my franchise (like all sports teams if we’re being truly honest) is inherently evil. And to add the cherry on top, we put together a dominant season only to be beat by the fucking Patriots AGAIN because Brandin Cooks can’t catch and nobody can tell the truth about Gurley’s knee. Time really is a flat fucking circle.
I came of football age in St. Louis during the era of the Greatest Show on Turf, with no idea what was in store for me. I followed this beknighted team for years: through Jeff Fisher and the eternal return of 7-9; through their move to LA, leaving me in a puddle of self-loathing for watching. I didn’t even have the self-respect of my friends and relatives who were able to fully abandon them. Then the Rams got to the Super Bowl. I was rewarded for my anguished hanging-on. They were young, they were exciting, I was cheering for them despite my better instincts! They might even beat the accursed Patriots! I was ready to come around with the alacrity of a Kroenke smelling cash!
Then, of course, they were publicly pantsed on national television. Now I am free. I have no loyalty left in me. I will now watch any game I want and cheer for any team I feel like. This is true liberation.
Sean McVay had no ideas, no adjustments, no counter for when Belichick deployed his galaxy brain idea of switching the defense after the coach-QB communications shut-off occurred. And when every team in the league uses that tactic - the ones that don’t will only have themselves to blame - Jared Goff will turn back into a pumpkin and we LA Rams fans will break ankles jumping off a bandwagon that we happily rode only for the last two weeks of the playoffs.
Also, that totally was pass interference and if there’s anything worse than scoring three measly points in the Super Bowl, it’s giving Gumbo Gumbo Gumbo fans a justified reason to whine about the league having it in against them.
I was in Chicago the weekend of THAT game (NFC Championship) with some friends for a convention. The Thursday before I was at the airport waiting for my flight, I saw a man wearing a Saints hat and he noticed my Rams beanie. We talked a bit and exchanged a “good luck” to each other for the upcoming game (he probably hates my guts now). Fast forward to that Sunday morning. I barely got any sleep as the night because my wallet had been stolen, then found but credit card and ID was compromised and I was up all night talking to my bank and the police, all because I set my Rams hat and wallet down for a second (they didn’t take the hat hilariously enough). To add insult to injury one of my friends, who had a morning flight, accidentally packed all of my pants in his luggage because they weren’t near my stuff (like, for example, my Rams beanie). Only other pants I had were these Family Guy PJ bottoms that I had no choice but to wear the entire day in below freezing Chicago weather.
I watched the 1st half of the game at a bar (surprisingly served me without my ID), wearing a coat, the Rams beanie, and the family guy PJs that people gave me shit for, which I deserved. After BSing with a few of the other guys at the bar about the game and hockey, I had to leave to catch my flight. I didn’t check the score at all on the way to the airport because my uber driver was an older woman who thought it was disrespectful (longest 45 minutes of my life). I had to go through extra TSA screening (because no ID. Thank God for Costco memberships) and one of the agents notices my Rams beanie and says “They’re making a comeback right now”. Of course I check my phone and with a few minutes left they were only down by a few points.
After going through the lengthy TSA process I made it to a screen in time to watch Zuerlein kick the FG in OT to win. Seems like I was the only person in that Chicago airport wearing anything Rams, while there were a surprising number of Saints fans there, who were just giving me a stink eye. Pretty much thought they were being salty. I didn’t care because goddamn my Rams beanie and Family Guy PJ wearing ass was so happy! The Rams were FINALLY going back to the Superbowl! Nothing could stop this euphoria......AAAAAAAND then I learned about the Robey-Coleman incident and the Rams laid the biggest egg in the Super Bowl.
What was the point of this story? The Rams, directly and indirectly, even when they’re winning, cause me lots and lots of suffering. Also, unlike my Rams, my fucking Blues, who were also a huge source of misery, managed to beat a Boston team in the Championship AND scored more than 6 points too! Fuck Kroenke!
SIDE STORY: On the plane ride home to Kansas City the entire plane was filled with Chiefs fans during the AFC Championship game going “YEAH LET’S GO” to “AW COME ON!”. Even the captain would get on the speaker announcing when the Chiefs scored a touchdown. When we landed, the game ended with the Patriots winning and all of my friends texted me “The Rams better fucking win the Super Bowl.” Sorry guys.
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