The new Los Angeles Rams had both of their pride points -- a stout, athletic defensive line and a fantastic running back -- smashed in prime time Monday night, though the quarterback position still took center stage afterward.
Outside of a few fleeting thoughts, head coach Jeff Fisher didn't seem to heavily consider benching Case Keenum during his two interception performance Monday night even if No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff was active for the game.
"I thought about it. I just wanted Case to finish it...I would have done the same had Jared been (No.) 2," Fisher told reporters after the 28-0 beatdown. "I would have let Case finish it. This doesn't change anything as far as quarterback is concerned."
When asked if Keenum is still the starting quarterback, Fisher had this:
"That is correct. I'll adjust, but I expect it to continue."
The 49ers' defense is not as bad as they were made out to be at the beginning of the season and essentially have two budding Calais Campbell clones in Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner wreaking havoc across their defensive line. But if Fisher thinks this is going to get any better against the Seahawks in their home opener at L.A. Coliseum next Sunday, he might have another thing coming.
The Rams' offense last night was a vicious cycle. As colleague Chris Wesseling noted, the plan was essentially to run superback Todd Gurley into a brick wall on first and second down, then force Keenum to pass against a defensive package designed to stop the pass on third down. For a defensive coordinator, it doesn't get much easier than that.
While we're not saying that Goff would be any better, at some point the team has to start thinking about the day they'll abandon one experiment for another. Keenum was 17 of 35 for 130 yards and no touchdowns Monday night. His passer rating -- again, more a reflection of the play-calling -- was 34.2. The team averaged less than four yards per passing attempt.
Trading all of their resources for the No. 1 pick in the draft acknowledged that they were one quarterback away from making the leap and positioning themselves as a potential playoff team. That still might be true, but that quarterback needs to be on the field to make a difference.
Source : http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000701840/article/jeff-fisher-case-keenum-is-still-the-starting-qb