Keenum Remains Rams' Quarterback Despite Interceptions


October 27, 2016

The Los Angeles Rams' first half of the 2016 season took another hit as they lost a 'home' game to the New York Giants, 17-10, at Twickenham Stadium, just outside London on October 23.

Just in time to spoil early Sunday morning breakfast for Ram fans across Southern California.

The Rams were facing a third-and-10 at the Giants' 15-yard line with 50 seconds to go, needing a touchdown to tie the game. On a high alley-oop pass intended for wide receiver Brian Quick who took a wrong turn, Keenum tossed the ball into the arms of New York cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromarti who was standing alone in the left corner of the end zone. Ballgame over.

"Disappointing, we had a chance to win. You go up by ten, and you have to make some plays and extend the lead. We didn't. We gave up the obvious interception return for a touchdown. We battled and we just ran out of time, ran out of plays," said Ram Head Coach Jeff Fisher, back at the team's training facility in Thousand Oaks on Monday.

"Offensively, we just couldn't get the ball in the end zone. You look at a 17-10 game, and you turn the ball over four times on offense, something's going well for you, and that was the defensive effort and the special team effort, but we just couldn't overcome the turnovers."

Quarterback Case Keenum put an exclamation on a disastrous fourth quarter following a stellar performance in a loss to the Detroit Lions last weekend as he threw an interception on the final drive for the third straight game.

Keenum threw four interceptions including one each in the Rams' last three drives of the game.

The Rams took a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Keenum to wide receiver Tavon Austin and 36-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein. New York responded with a field goal and a 44-yard pick-six interception for touchdown by strong safety Landon Collins who had two picks for the game.

The Giants scored the winning touchdown at 9:23 of the fourth-quarter on a one-yard run by Bobby Rainey capping a 35-yard drive following Collins' second interception. Fisher: "It's a good football team we played, a good defense, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. It's just what things that happened in the game.

"There were opportunities there, there were penalties that I disagree with that were drive-changing, drive-interrupting. But if I had to do it all over again, I'd do the same thing because they were prepared, they were fresh and they were ready to play."

It was the third straight loss for the 3-4 Rams following three straight wins that had the city buzzing after a 3-1 start to the season. They were shut out for the last three quarters against the Giants and have struggled in recent games by only scoring 26 points combined in the second half for the past three games.

Fisher and his staff are still sticking with starting quarterback Keenum as the media questions once again focus back to Jared Goff, the 2016 NFL top draft choice who has yet to see action during the regular season.

Fisher: "... what Case has done, we won three-straight games with him. Yes, I understand we've lost three-straight but the quarterback position, in my opinion, is not the reason why we lost the football games, nor was it yesterday.

"At first glance, if you look: oh, he threw four interceptions. You look at the actual plays, and as you guys know, interceptions, you can place blame wherever you want. Jared is going to be our starter but we're going to continue with Case. Looking forward to a good couple weeks of preparation for Carolina."

The Rams now have an extra week to prepare for the Carolina Panthers due to a Bye this weekend.

They will host the 2015 NFC Champion Panthers on Sunday, November 6 at the Coliseum.

The Panthers are currently and unexpectedly 1-5 and at the bottom of the NFC South division after having played in last season's Super Bowl. Carolina and quarterback Cam Newton return to action this week at home against the Arizona Cardinals after having a Bye this past weekend.

"The losses are behind us, we'll look forward to the Carolina challenge," said Fisher. "Everybody has different needs and I think that's the most important thing to address the needs. We have guys that need to rest, we have guys that need some work. At the same time, we do walk-thru's as we move through it, they need to understand some of the areas we need to improve upon.

"Again, offensively, given the rankings, which are subjective, our third-down stuff has really improved and I'm pleased with that and I'm pleased with where we are defensively... especially as we look at the possibility of getting some guys back.

"This week is about resting, it's about recovering which we say all the time. It's also about getting away and coming back recharged, that's probably the most important thing."

For the time being the Rams' staff intends to stay the course as they bide their time in preparing their rookie quarterback to eventually take over the reigns with no definitive time set for Goff's debut.

He's also not their only concern as the team focuses to build and maintain three phases: offense, defense and special teams. The team is asking their fans to believe that patience is still a virtue.


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