Is Jeff Fisher or The NFL To Blame For Rams’ Mediocrity?


Over the last four years the now Los Angeles Rams have gone 7-8-1, 6-10, 7-9, and 7-9. While at first this was great as the Rams went a stretch of three years in which they won just six games, the mediocrity has gotten old.

Over his 20 years as an NFL head coach, Jeff Fisher has won between six and eight games in 12 of them. It was because of this that Rams fans have begun to blame Fisher for the team’s mediocrity. Fisher has a history of mediocrity as he has gone 169-156-1 in his coaching career with a win percentage of 52%, also known as the definition of mediocre.

Fisher has never won a Super Bowl and last season became only the second coach to last five years with a team after not having a winning season. It made sense for Stan Kroenke to keep Fisher through the move to Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating.

The Rams haven’t been to the playoffs since 2004 and haven’t had a winning record since 2003. To say the least, fans are anxious to win and it isn’t happening under Fisher. While fans may want to blame Fisher, the fact of the matter is, the Rams may have just fallen into the NFL’s trap.

As the NFL strives for a league that is competitive and entertaining for as many fans as possible, it has realized and instituted into its bylaws the value of a level playing field and a sort of socialist league.

The draft is a perfect example of this in which it gives the top pick to the worst-performing team from the previous season, and the next-worst order continues until the champion picks last. This is one of many pillars of what the NFL calls consistency, but what many agree are functioning models of collectivism at work.

A perfect example of teams improving over night come from just last season. With the top pick the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston and went from winning two games to becoming a mediocre team at 6-10. Amari Cooper who joined the Oakland Raiders helped them go from three wins to mediocre at seven wins.

In addition to the draft and revenue sharing in which billions of dollars are split equally among the teams, the league’s salary cap ensures that teams can’t outspend each other and can remain in that state of equality.

Even each team’s strength of schedule is based on its success from the previous season, with the most successful teams facing tougher competition the following year. The best team in the NFC North may play the best team from the previous season in the NFC West, and down the line.

The fact of the matter is, the Fisher and the Rams may have just fallen into the NFL’s trap.

[table id=16 /]

Over the past five seasons, almost half the league has been mediocre and in 2011, it was exactly half the teams. These are only teams with between six and nine wins which many would consider mediocre. In the below table, you will see the difference between winning teams and non-winning teams over the past five seasons.

[table id=17 /]

As you can see, in each season, there are clearly more teams with non-winning records than there are winning records which shows the conformity of the league and the equal environment that they have created.

While the goal is clearly to have a winning record, it is something that the NFL makes difficult especially if you fall in the trap like the Rams have. It’s almost better to be mediocre and suck in order to get that top pick than it is to be mediocre and stay mediocre.

It’s why teams that fire their coach and then rebuild succeed. In those situations teams are rebuilding the roster and identity and therefore getting more top picks and end up having more money in free agency to work with.

According to an article done by Five Thirty Eight awhile back, the average time to recover to contender status in 4.1 years. In that time, top picks are gained and salary cap is built up in order to bring in better players.

It’s difficult to take that next step in the NFL as it’s something that the league itself tries to prevent. The NFL has created a level playing field in order to make every game close. While that sounds all fine and dandy, it doesn’t necessarily mean the product on the field is all that great.

In the last twenty years according to Marasoft, 46.12% of all the NFL regular season games were decided by 7 or less points and 23.59% of the football games were decided by 3 or less. It’s also worth noting that the site says that underdogs will win approximately 50% of the games over the course of most seasons.

More from Ramblin' Fan

The NFL thrives off of the any given Sunday mentality. The fact that the Philadelphia Eagles can beat the New England Patriots or the New York Giants can upset an undefeated Patriots team is what keeps the game exciting.

That trend has continued over the last five years as the data shows that 48.68% of all games since 2011 have been decided by one score or less.

By all means Im not letting Jeff Fisher off the hook. The facts still say that he hasn’t won with the Rams and most likely won’t. He has failed and fallen into the NFL’s trap and hasn’t been able to get out and break the trends that the NFL has created.