|2016 Los Angeles Rams season|
|Head coach||Jeff Fisher (fired Week 14, 4-9 record) |
John Fassel (interim, 0-3 record)
|General manager||Les Snead|
|Home field||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum|
|Local radio||KSPN 710 AM |
KSWD 100.3 FM
|Division place||3rd NFC West|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
The 2016 Los Angeles Rams season was the franchise's 79th season in the National Football League and the fifth and final under head coach Jeff Fisher. It was the franchise's 50th season in the Greater Los Angeles Area and the first since 1994. The team returned to Los Angeles after 21 seasons in St. Louis. The Rams decided from 2016-2019 to return to wearing white uniforms at home in LA as a nod to Fearsome Foursome era. In Week 15 against their NFC West Rival the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams used white horns on their helmet just for the one game only, a move which would be repeated for the entire following season.
The 2016 season saw the Rams attempting to improve upon their 7-9 record from 2015. After a surprising 3-1 start, the Rams would massively struggle in the second half, going 1-11 in their final 12 games, en route to a 4-12 record. The Rams also went 1-6 at home in 2016, their worst home record since going 0-8 at home in their 1-15 2009 season. The Rams also missed the playoffs for the 12th straight season, the third longest current streak in the NFL. Only the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns had longer postseason droughts. The franchise also clinched its 13th straight losing season, which as of 2017 was the longest current streak in the NFL. The Rams were also the only team to lose to the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, as both wins for the 49ers were against the Rams.
On December 12, 2016, Fisher was fired after a 42-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons that dropped the Rams to 4-9 and clinched their 10th straight losing season. John Fassel was named interim head coach and went winless over the final three games.
After receiving permission to void its lease on the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis during the 2015 season, the team officially filed an application to relocate back to Los Angeles on January 4, 2016, where it would play at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood when completed; construction began in December 2015, and the opening is scheduled for 2020. In the interim, the Rams would play seven of their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the eighth game at Twickenham Stadium in London as part of the NFL International Series, until the Los Angeles at Hollywood Park Stadium would be complete. The Rams also resumed holding training camp at UC Irvine, where they had previously held training camp during the 1990s prior to the move to St. Louis.
The Rams competed against the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, both of whom also filed relocation requests for a joint stadium in Carson for the rights to the Los Angeles market; the Chargers received a one-year option to decide if they wanted to share the Inglewood stadium with the Rams, which they did in the following season in 2017. Had the Chargers not accepted the option, a one-year option would have been granted to the Raiders after theirs expired. The league made their decision in a special meeting on January 12; after two ballots, the Rams' proposal was accepted on a 30-2 vote.
The Rams' return to the Greater Los Angeles Area received extensive media coverage. The team made its first appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks, which covered training camp and preseason. Several players and their families were followed on the new E! reality series Hollywood & Football as they settled in Southern California, while the regular season was later chronicled in the Amazon Prime sports documentary series All Or Nothing.
The Coliseum was previously the Rams' home for 34 seasons (1946-1979); they moved to Anaheim Stadium in Orange County in 1980, and played there for fifteen seasons before the move to St. Louis in 1995.
|4||110||Tyler Higbee||TE||Western Kentucky|
|4||117||Pharoh Cooper||WR||South Carolina|
|6||190||Temarrick Hemingway||TE||South Carolina State|
|6||206||Mike Thomas||WR||Southern Miss|
|1||August 13||Dallas Cowboys||W 28-24||1-0||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|2||August 20||Kansas City Chiefs||W 21-20||2-0||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|3||August 27||at Denver Broncos||L 9-17||2-1||Sports Authority Field at Mile High||Recap|
|4||September 1||at Minnesota Vikings||L 25-27||2-2||U.S. Bank Stadium||Recap|
On November 25, 2015, the NFL announced that the Rams would play host to a then-undetermined NFC East opponent in the International Series, in the first-ever game at Twickenham Stadium in London, United Kingdom. On January 3, 2016, the New York Giants were confirmed as the Rams' opponent for this game, both teams having finished in third place in their respective divisions in the 2015 season. The game was played in Week 7 on Sunday, October 23. The kickoff time was announced on April 14, and both teams had their bye the following week. As a condition of the Rams' use of the Coliseum, the University of Southern California requested that the NFL not schedule any Monday night home games at the stadium, nor any home games on days after USC football games. While the team's final schedule did not contain any home Monday night games, two games were played on days following an USC home game. The Rams wore their white uniforms for all of their home games for the first time since 1971 as a nod to the Fearsome Foursome era, with the exception of wearing their throwback uniforms twice a year for home games and wearing their all-navy uniforms for the game in London.
|1||September 12||at San Francisco 49ers||L 0-28||0-1||Levi's Stadium||Recap|
|2||September 18||Seattle Seahawks||W 9-3||1-1||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|3||September 25||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 37-32||2-1||Raymond James Stadium||Recap|
|4||October 2||at Arizona Cardinals||W 17-13||3-1||University of Phoenix Stadium||Recap|
|5||October 9||Buffalo Bills||L 19-30||3-2||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|6||October 16||at Detroit Lions||L 28-31||3-3||Ford Field||Recap|
|7||October 23||New York Giants||L 10-17||3-4||Twickenham Stadium (London, England)||Recap|
|9||November 6||Carolina Panthers||L 10-13||3-5||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|10||November 13||at New York Jets||W 9-6||4-5||MetLife Stadium||Recap|
|11||November 20||Miami Dolphins||L 10-14||4-6||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|12||November 27||at New Orleans Saints||L 21-49||4-7||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Recap|
|13||December 4||at New England Patriots||L 10-26||4-8||Gillette Stadium||Recap|
|14||December 11||Atlanta Falcons||L 14-42||4-9||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|15||December 15||at Seattle Seahawks||L 3-24||4-10||CenturyLink Field||Recap|
|16||December 24||San Francisco 49ers||L 21-22||4-11||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
|17||January 1||Arizona Cardinals||L 6-44||4-12||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
The now-Los Angeles Rams stumbled badly in their season opener, getting shut out by the host 49ers on Monday Night Football. Quarterback Case Keenum was ineffective, completing less than 50 percent of his passes (17-for-35) for 130 yards and two interceptions, while also being sacked twice. Running back Todd Gurley was also lackluster, with only 47 yards on 17 carries. Defensively, linebacker Alec Ogletree led the team with 12 tackles (11 solo) and defensive end Dominique Easley forced a fumble that was recovered by cornerback Trumaine Johnson. But the Rams came up with no sacks, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter for unsportsmanlike conduct and making contact with a game official, an incident for which he later apologized.
Playing at home in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first time since 1979, the Rams got the victory in a defensive battle over their NFC West rivals. Three field goals from kicker Greg Zuerlein were enough for the Rams, who played in front of a homecoming crowd of 91,046. With the win, the Rams won a regular season game in Los Angeles for the first time since 1994. Case Keenum completed 18 of 30 passes for 239 yards, and wide receiver Kenny Britt caught six passes for 94 yards. Robert Quinn and William Hayes both had sacks of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, while Alec Ogletree had nine tackles and a fumble recovery on Seattle's final drive to preserve the victory. The Rams paid tribute to their first regular season game back in Los Angeles by wearing their blue and yellow throwback uniforms, which were their uniforms during their last season in 1994.
Held out of the end zone in the season's first two weeks, the Rams scored five touchdowns in what would be their highest single-game point total of the season. Case Keenum's 44-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Brian Quick ended L.A.'s TD drought, and Greg Zuerlein kicked a 53-yard field goal to give the Rams a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. After the host Buccaneers scored twice to take a 20-10 lead, Todd Gurley scored on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs in both the second and third quarters to put the Rams back in the lead. Defensive end Ethan Westbrooks picked up a fumble forced by Robert Quinn and ran it back 77 yards for a touchdown, and Keenum connected with Tavon Austin for a 43-yard touchdown pass play and a 37-26 lead. But Tampa Bay rallied behind quarterback Jameis Winston (405 yards, 3 TD passes) to pull within five points. Driving in the final minute, the Bucs reached the Rams 5-yard line, but Quinn brought down Winston from behind as time expired. With two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, game play was suspended for 69 minutes due to lightning strikes in the area. With the win, the Rams record improved to 2-1 for the first time since 2006, placing the team in first place in the NFC West. It was also the first time the Rams scored a regular season touchdown as the Los Angeles Rams since 1994.
Case Keenum connected twice for touchdown passes to Brian Quick as Los Angeles held on for the victory, which gave the Rams a 3-1 start for the first time since 2006. Linebacker Mark Barron had a team-high eight tackles and an interception as the Rams defense forced five turnovers. Aaron Donald added five tackles with 1.5 sacks on the day as the Rams found themselves in first place in the NFC West.
Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals, but the Rams were undone by numerous mistakes in a home loss to the Bills. Case Keenum passed for 271 yards, but was intercepted twice and sacked four times. Kenny Britt's five receptions for 75 yards led the Rams, while Todd Gurley ran for 72 yards and a touchdown, but also lost a fumble at the end of the first quarter that led to a Buffalo touchdown. Bills cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, who scored on a 41-yard interception return, would join the Rams the following season.
Case Keenum passed for three touchdowns and ran for another, but an interception in the final minutes ruined a comeback attempt as the Rams fell to 3-3 with a loss to the host Lions. Keenum set a team record with 19 straight completions on 27-for-32 passing with 321 yards. Tied 14-14 with four seconds remaining in the first half, the Rams failed to take the lead as Todd Gurley (14 carries, 58 yards) was stopped short of the goal line as time ran out. Wide receiver Kenny Britt caught seven passes for 136 yards and two scores, all season highs. Safety Lamarcus Joyner had eight tackles to lead the Rams, while Aaron Donald had four tackles and a sack.
After scoring 10 points on their first two drives, the Rams could not score again as they allowed 17 unanswered points with a field goal, a pick 6 by Landon Collins, a 1-yard touchdown by Rashad Jennings. Case Keenum threw 4 interceptions in the game. One of the picks was on the last drive when the Rams drove down to the red zone. But a high pass landed in DRC's hands in the end zone allowing the Rams to drop 3-4 and continue on their losing streak.
With the win, the Rams improved to 4-5 without scoring a touchdown. This game was the Rams' only win in a series of 12 games, and their last win of the 2016 season, as they would go on to lose their remaining 7 games.
This game was the first time rookie quarterback Jared Goff made his starting debut for the Rams. The Rams held a 10-0 lead with just over 4 minutes left to play; however, the Dolphins would score 14 unanswered points to take a 14-10 win. With the loss, the Rams fell to 4-6.
With the loss, the Rams were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. This is Jeff Fisher's last game as the Rams' head coach before getting fired the next day. Todd Gurley after the game lashed out at the team for having a "middle-school offense."
With the loss, the Rams fell to 4-11. They were also swept by the 49ers for the first time since 2013.
With the loss to the Cardinals, the Rams finished their season 4-12.
|Los Angeles Rams||4||12||0||.250||2-4||3-9||224||394||L7|
|San Francisco 49ers||2||14||0||.125||2-4||2-10||309||480||L1|
|4||Green Bay Packers||North||10||6||0||.625||5-1||8-4||.508||.453||W6|
|5||New York Giants||East||11||5||0||.688||4-2||8-4||.486||.455||W1|
|Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|7[a]||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||South||9||7||0||.563||4-2||7-5||.492||.434||W1|
|11[b]||New Orleans Saints||South||7||9||0||.438||2-4||6-6||.523||.393||L1|
|14||Los Angeles Rams||West||4||12||0||.250||2-4||3-9||.504||.500||L7|
|16||San Francisco 49ers||West||2||14||0||.125||2-4||2-10||.504||.250||L1|
|Aaron Donald||Week 4: NFC Defensive Player of the Week|
|Johnny Hekker||Week 10: NFC Special Teams Player of the Week|