For the first time since the 1994 season, Los Angeles will host an LA Rams game. The St. Louis Rams are no more, and the franchise is of course playing in Los Angeles now. St. Louis residents didn’t like it, but the Los Angeles area has been getting hyped up since the news was announced. Around 20,000 fans came out to watch a practice at the LA Coliseum, and even though this is just a preseason game, I expect excitement to be in the air for this one against the Dallas Cowboys.
How long is the honeymoon period going to last? Everybody knows the mediocracy of the Rams across the last decade and it cannot continue in their new home. I think fans are just ecstatic to have their team back home, so there might be a bit of a free pass for them in 2016. The quarterback situation in Los Angeles doesn’t get me excited much. Although, some good things out of Jared Goff would get people looking forward to the future.
Goff is supposed to be the future for the Rams. Sam Bradford never worked out in St. Louis, so this would be their second failure in a row with a high quarterback draft pick, if Goff doesn’t pan out. I’m not necessarily high on Goff. I don’t want to make a prediction about him, because he could really go either way. He came from a similar offense as Bradford at Oklahoma, sitting back in the shotgun and picking apart weak defenses in a quick pace offense.
It isn’t going to be so easy for Goff in the NFL. Case Keenum is currently the starter for the Rams, who has spent in Houston and St. Louis with the Rams in 2015. Keenum was fairly serviceable in the five starts he had a year ago, passing for 4 touchdowns and 1 interception, with a 60.8% pass completion. He took eight starts for the Texans in 2013 and was decent there as well, posting 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
He’ll be a starter to open the season for the first time in his career. The Rams want to get a good look at Goff tonight, though. Don’t expect much of anything from Tony Romo, as he is coming off a fractured collarbone injury in 2015. The Cowboys’ season shot dead at that point. The NFC East was horrific last year and it was there for the Cowboys to own if it weren’t for the Romo injury. With a healthy Romo, the Cowboys should be a factor in the regular season.
Dallas Cowboys vs. LA Rams NFL Preseason Betting Odds:
vs. Rams -5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cowboys vs. Rams Pick:
The Cowboys are going to be cautious with Tony Romo throughout the preseason. It goes without saying that they need him with a clean bill of health from Week 1 of the regular season, all the way to the end of the season. Jason Garrett would be cursed all the way to hell if Romo gets injured in the preseason. Conversely, there are a couple of quarterbacks on the Cowboys’ roster that need to get some experience. Romo’s backup, Kellen Moore, got injured a couple weeks ago, so things are going to get mighty dicey at quarterback again in Dallas if Romo cannot stay on the field.
The Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth-round of the NFL Draft just a few months ago. He is supposed to be a development player for the Cowboys, but he’s being throw into what possibly will be a backup role to Tony Romo. Prescott operated an option offense at Mississippi State and wasn’t counted on to play from under center or sit back in the pocket frequently. Prescott has had a lot thrown his way in a short time, playing in a completely different offense. Prescott is mobile, but he isn’t a burner that is going to run away from defenders in the NFL. With that said, he needs to be a quarterback who can scramble and pull something out of nothing for a few years to pick up a first down.
The Cowboys also have Jameill Showers, a second year player out of UTEP. Showers went undrafted a year ago, but has been making the most out of his opportunities in training camp, even turning some heads in a scrimmage. However, it happens quite often, where we learn that guys are looking great in practice, but garbage in game action against another team. Showers doesn’t want to go into that category.
It appears that Goff is going to take the majority of the snaps for the Rams. Keenum has experience starting in the NFL and the job is his, but if slips up too many times early in the regular season, Goff is going to get his chance. Getting acclimated in the Rams’ offense against other teams is particularly important for him. I expect the Rams to come out today and give a pretty strong effort to win this game. They’re going to want to win, this being their first game back in LA. I don’t think I’ve ever laid 5 points in a preseason game, but the sportsbooks know the effort discrepancy is going to be on other ends of the spectrum at the LA Coliseum tonight.
PICK: RAMS -5 (-110)