If the Los Angeles Rams deserve credit for anything, it's for achieving a level of consistency that isn't strived for nor desired in a professional sports franchise. They have been bad for the better part of the past 25 years.
After they were done getting the life pounded out of them Sunday evening by the NFC West "rival" Arizona Cardinals, they will finish with a 4-12 record. It is the same record they finished with in Los Angeles 22 years ago when they left. 4-12. The epitome of terrible.
Their future looks as bright as a burned down home without an insurance plan. Stan Kroenke will show zero desire to upgrade the team via free agency. Kevin Demoff's future is sealed after he betrayed St. Louis in more ways than one on the team's trip out of town.
They have no first round draft pick to fall back on, because they traded that away to get the #1 spot in the 2016 draft to take publicity pick Jared Goff, who finished 2016 with a quarterback rating of 25.0 and 10 turnovers in 185 passing attempts. Todd Gurley compared the offensive gameplan to that of one you'd find in a middle school attack. The defense showed more leakage than in recent seasons. Tavon Austin backed up that four year/42 million dollar contract with a 491 yard and three touchdown season. The best player on the team was Johnny Hekker, the punter. The Rams kept him busy all season giving the ball back to the other team.
The Rams finished last in points and yards gained. They were last in average rushing yards with a rousing 80. Their points scored per game ranked last in the NFL as well, and they were 16th in points allowed per game. Their one time stud running back, Gurley, rushed for less than 900 yards and they started three different quarterbacks this season.
Jeff Fisher was fired one loss shy of the all time coaching loss record. He followed the dismissal up by admitting he knew about the team move all the way back in 2012 when he was hired. He was hired to bring the Rams back from the bottom of a ditch, and the closest he got was 7-8-1. The Rams barely sniffed the playoffs during Fisher's time with the team, and he was paid an annual average of 7 million dollars. He makes more money than Marvin Lewis, who may be fired even though the Cincinnati Bengals have won for the past seven years before their drop-off this season.
The Rams do little well, and nothing with flash or style. The only entertaining aspect of their play is how poorly they lose and the fact that USC Coliseum was barely half-full halfway into their first season back in 22 years. As my good friend Earnest Christian said, the Rams aren't even as entertaining as the process of watching paint dry. They are boring and bad. The worst of both worlds.
This won't change next season. They could bring in Jon Gruden, Sean Payton, or Rex Ryan, and they won't win more than 6 games. They have no high draft picks for a while and are so bad at managing talent that success makes a U-turn when they approach the Rams. Kroenke and Demoff are smelling the money no matter what the Rams do record wise so what makes you think an advanced effort is nearby?
The only thing a Rams fan can expect is consistent badness. It's like a thunderstorm rolling into a small town and never leaving. Only it's not a small town. It's the monstrous and larger than life Los Angeles. A city that has already checked out of the Rams lobby.
Here's the thing. The Rams didn't bring a stud back to the West Coast. Gurley and Aaron Donald are very good football players, maybe even great, but they aren't marketable studs yet. When Wayne Gretzky came to the Los Angeles Kings, people started watching hockey for the first time. He was a marketable stud. The Rams came back to Los Angeles with a mediocre product. Why pay for season tickets to see that?
The Rams got exactly what they deserved Sunday. A near empty stadium of mildly interested fans. They won't get any better in 2017. They will be bad for awhile.
From 1990 to 1994, the Rams were 23-57 in Los Angeles. In their last five years in St. Louis, they were 30-50. In their first year back in L.A., they finish 4-12. Consistency.
St. Louis football fans may still feel the sting of the manner with which the Rams left, but they can't be displeased with the product that won't be returning.
The forecast in Los Angeles calls for more bad football.