Head coach Sean McVay beefed up the receiving corps and running back Todd Gurley is getting the ball more on the ground and in the air.
There is noticeable improvement in quarterback Jared Goff.
He went from the bottom of the pile as a rookie last year to the top of the heap in the first quarter of this season.
Last year Goff held the ball too long and was sacked over two dozen times in seven games…his jersey saw more grass than a Grateful Dead concert. His QBR (Quarterback Rating) was in the dirt, too.
But this year he’s putting up some of the best metrics in the league and he’s led the Rams (3-1) to the top of the NFC West.
Their last two wins have both been exciting road games.
NFL viewership took a slight dip in the past two weeks due to controversy and coverage of natural disasters.
But there was a full-court press by some media to make it sound like game attendance is terrible, and numbers are being “falsified” like this was a conspiracy engineered by the Illuminati.
The Rams game against the 49ers in Santa Clara came under the most heat.
But anybody that says the stadium was at 50 percent capacity is only telling half the story…and none of the truth.
According to Niners Nation, NBC Sports Pro Football Talk (PFT) and ESPN, it was reported that over 60,000 fans were in attendance. Levi Stadium can hold well over 70,000 people, so it’s true; it was not a full-attendance crowd.
However, it was a conference game, on a Thursday night, with a 5pm kickoff. Most people hadn’t even left work at that time.
I lived in S.F. for 25 years, and the commute is just as bad as in Los Angeles. Of course the park looked empty when the game started.
One side of the field sits in direct sunlight, and many of those seat-holders hang out in one of the shaded concourse clubs until the temp goes down.
The stadium continued to fill as the game progressed.
Looking at game video and judging by the photos my friends sent from the stadium, the crowd was around 80 percent. And don’t let any crazy conspiracy theorists tell you differently.
The Rams are worth watching.
Last Sunday’s battle with the Cowboys in Dallas is proof.
It was a slow start in front of the near-capacity crowd in Arlington.
The Rams “D” held Dallas to a field goal and L.A. kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein put up three points for the only scores in the first quarter.
It broke open in the second Q when Dallas scored touchdowns on three consecutive possessions.
Zuerlein closed the gap with two more FG’s and the Rams recovered a muffed punt to score a TD on a Goff pass to wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
L.A. went to the locker room trailing 16-24.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips made some adjustments that stultified the Cowboy’s offense…and cut QB Dak Prescott’s completion rate to less than 50 percent in the second half.
The third quarter belonged to the Rams.
Zuerlein nailed another from 30-yards out and Goff hit Gurley on a 53-yard TD pass to take the lead for the first time 26-24.
The final period was all about Greg “Give-Him-a-Raise” Zuerlein. First, he capped a 78-yard drive with a 28-yard field goal. Then the defense stripped the ball and recovered it to set up a 43-yarder, and Zuerlein came away with a career best when he split the uprights one more time (7 of 7) to seal the 35-30 victory.
The Rams host the Seahawks this Sunday.
God Bless and enjoy the game.
Mark Felicetti always keeps an eye on the crowd. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.