Bonus Time: Football in LA. Reality or Hollywood?

Bonus Time: Football in LA. Reality or Hollywood?


Stats from the NFL Preseason are meaningless.

No, I don’t think Dak Prescott is the next Tom Brady after he went 10 for 12 for 139 yards with 2 touchdowns Saturday but, the stat that absolutely matters is that the game (finally) took place. Rams vs. Cowboys, the first NFL game in LA since 1994, sold nearly 90,000 tickets. This kind of attendance is proof that fans are paying attention, and for good reason: The nation’s most popular sport is finally back in the nation’s cerebral cortex of all things cool…LA

It’s easy to see the Rams are a story-book fit for the city. The lead man, quarterback Jared Goff, has the looks of a surfer, easy charm of a Hollywood A-lister and sharp release required to succeed at the next level. In a supporting role, Todd Gurley, after an electrifying rookie season that left all too many linebackers battered and fans buying his jersey returns for an encore and if he stays healthy, has a shot at dethroning Rams great Eric Dickerson for the single season rushing record.

Too good to be true? It gets better.

The Rams boast the NFL’s best player, Aaron Donald. He’s got the fastest first step in the game, terrorizing opposing linemen, and quarterbacks. Now, these are stars worthy of Hollywood headlines, but that’s not to say it’s going to be a happy ending.

This is a young team.

To win, the Rams need a receiver, either Kenny Britt (who led the team in yards per catch, but only caught 36 balls in 14 starts), Tavon Austin (who could be a game wrecker, but the team plans to use him on the outside which isn’t the best matchup for the small, scrappy slot receiver) or a draft pick to break out and offer Goff a go-to man.

There are questions about the secondary (losing half their starters in free agency) and line backing corps (Alec Ogletree at MIKE should be solid, but adjustments don’t always come easy), but this team has the qualities to captivate a new fan base, keep games close and hope their young talent translates to the big time. The Rams don’t want to force Goff to try to do too much with this offense. A heaping of Todd Gurley 30-35 times a game is a good start. Let the O-Line bulldoze for their back. If Goff only needs to make 18-25 throws a game, this team can win.

Keep it simple otherwise Goff is going to get crushed.

While I was at Rams camp, although it was early, I noticed Goff was pretty inaccurate and had his own secondary been on point, he would have been intercepted a few times a day. But they kept dropping his passes. Reports out of camp were offering glowing reports of his development and how he’s picking up on the offense. I wondered if the media covering the Rams aren’t looking for those the Hollywood headlines anywhere they can find them. Time will tell if Goff develops precise timing with his receivers or opposing secondary, but if it’s the latter, reality is going to be a lot tougher than any other show Hollywood is producing.

It’s fantastic to have the NFL BACK in LA … just wait until next year when the Raiders are back. Now that will REALLY make things interesting.