Los Angeles Rams Will Benefit From a Terrible 2016 Season
By Kyle Zartman
Extremely high expectations doomed the Los Angeles Rams before their 2016 season could even get underway.
As sad as it is to say, the 2016 season was actually a good thing for the Los Angeles Rams. It may sound silly to be positive about a 4-12 season, but hopefully this learning experience will pay off in the long run for the Rams.
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Obviously, the team was expected to go through a major transition with the move from St. Louis to Los Angeles when looking at all of the difficulties adjusting to a new city. But the team tried to capitalize on the move whenever possible as this was to be expected given the move to the entertainment mecca of the world.
Unfortunately, the one issue that doomed the team in their new city was expectations after the Rams took a major step back in 2016, especially from an offensive standpoint. One year after finishing with a 7-9 record, the addition of Jared Goff was supposed to help Los Angeles reach the next level of becoming contenders, but that obviously never happened when seeing how much the team struggled this past season.
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For most of the last decade, the Rams had zero expectations. Even with Jeff Fisher’s arrival in 2012, the team wasn’t figured to be anything more than mediocre, and that’s exactly what happened since the past few years consisted of a team that played great defense and special teams, but struggled on offense. In fact, the last team to have a winning record came during the 2004 season, yet the expectations were so high for some reason in 2016.
Some merely thought that a new team came along with the move. Many felt the team would be different, and that being in Los Angeles would all of a sudden cure the mediocrity of the last decade.
The Rams played this up whenever possible. They made a huge splash by trading for the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. They appeared on HBO’s Hard Knocks. This was even supposed to be the year of no more 7-9 finishes.
Jump ahead to the 2017 season, and it’s clear nothing has changed for the organization. However, as mentioned previously, a disastrous 2016 season for Los Angeles should pay off in the long run since there were a few positive factors to takeaway.
Not only did the team fire perennial middling coach Fisher, but they used the second half of the season to get Goff some much-needed experience. Even though the team didn’t get a win with Goff at quarterback, there is hope that this team will improve and use 2016 as a stepping stone.
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While it is yet to be seen if new head coach Sean McVay can be the answer for the franchise, it certainly can’t be worse since the 2016 season was rock bottom for Los Angeles. The Rams will start fresh in 2017 with absolutely zero expectations., and the good thing is there is no place to go but up from here.