THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Jeff Fisher doesn’t think Jared Goff is the answer to the Los Angeles Rams’ lagging offense — not just yet, anyway.
The No. 1 pick in last spring’s draft watched from the sideline in uniform Sunday while Case Keenum managed the Rams to three field goals and a 9-3 victory over Seattle in their first regular-season game back home since 1994.
The excitement from this landmark win didn’t make it any prettier on film. The Rams (1-1) still haven’t scored a touchdown this season, and their nine points are the NFL’s fewest after two weeks.
Keenum has the league’s worst quarterback rating at 57.8, going 35 for 65 for 369 yards and two interceptions in two games.
But if Los Angeles fans are expecting Goff to fix anything, Fisher says they’ll have to keep waiting for their young quarterback to mature into the job.
“We need more production out of our offense, and all things point to the quarterback position,” Fisher said Monday at team headquarters.
“But I’m expecting Case to continue to get better in this offense, and we’re going to win games and score points. If you’re talking about Jared, I don’t want to be a broken record here, but we’re going to play him when he’s ready.
“That was a great experience for him (Sunday). He loved it. Talked to him this morning (and said), ‘This is going to be your home for a long time,’ and he was excited about that. When that happens, we’ll let you know.”
Fisher understands the eagerness to see Goff after the club mortgaged a big chunk of its future to move up in the draft, but the California product didn’t win the job from Keenum in training camp or the preseason.
And while Keenum largely avoids mistakes of exuberance, it’s tough to imagine how the Rams could produce even less with another passer behind center.
They rank last in the league in total yards per game (234.0) and yards passing (169.5), two spots they also held last season with Keenum and Nick Foles at quarterback. They’re 6 for 27 on third downs — again, last in the NFL.
The Rams have faced two defenses that loaded up to stop running back Todd Gurley and dared Keenum to beat them. Keenum’s short passing game helped the Rams to reach field-goal range against Seattle, but he knows Los Angeles needs more.
“I like touchdowns, but I love winning,” Keenum said.
After a full day to review film of the Rams’ first victory in their homecoming season, the first player singled out for Fisher’s praise was his punter, Johnny Hekker.
Fisher realizes what that says about the nature of the Rams’ win, but he has been coaching for far too long to apologize for a win in whatever form it takes.
“We’ve got a lot of room for improvement, as you would expect and probably agree,” Fisher said. “But we were pleased, in particular, with the way the three phases played together.”
Two phases are a bit ahead of the third.
While the Rams continued to struggle for offensive consistency, they didn’t commit a turnover — and they were sharp in other areas.
Los Angeles’ defense limited Seattle to its lowest-scoring performance in nearly five years, giving up just 67 yards rushing and allowing the Seahawks into the red zone just once.
The Rams’ weakest defensive link appears to be at the starting cornerback spot vacated by free agent Janoris Jenkins in the offseason, but Fisher said E.J. Gaines could return from injury this week to fill that role.
The Rams’ special teams also were practically flawless: Greg Zuerlein was perfect on three field-goal attempts, and Hekker put all six of his punts inside the Seattle 20 without a return yard.
“We capitalized on some of their mistakes, on some of their penalties,” Fisher said. “And we found a way to win at the end.”
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