Very rarely in the NFL does a successful quarterback on a winning team get overshadowed, but that has been the case for Jared Goff. After a disappointing rookie season, many NFL fans have not given enough credit to Goff for his continuous improvement. While head coach Sean McVay and superstar running back Todd Gurley get all the love, it is Goff who deserves recognition for helping completely turn around the Rams franchise.
Jared Goff was picked first overall by the Rams in the 2016 NFL Draft to be their quarterback of the future. Goff was drafted into an organization that had gone through 7 different starting quarterbacks in the past 6 years and was in a drought of 9 consecutive losing seasons. Goff was also drafted the same year the Rams relocated from St. Louis back to Los Angeles. Needless to say, expectations were very high for the young quarterback and there was immense pressure to make the Rams a winning franchise once again.
Unfortunately, Goff’s rookie season did not go how anyone would’ve liked. After a poor showing in the preseason, Goff was originally named the backup behind Case Keenum. Goff did not end up starting until midway through the season and did not play well. In his rookie season, Goff went winless as a starter losing all seven games he played in. His stats were not impressive either. Goff averaged a mere 155 yards a game, had a 54.6 completion percentage, 5.31 yards per attempt, and only 5 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. He also had an abysmal quarterback rating of 63.6. The game film did not do Goff any justice either as he looked uncomfortable in the pocket and missed a lot of open receivers. At this point in his career Goff looked like a massive bust.
Everything changed for Goff when Sean McVay arrived in 2017. Goff went 11-4 as a starter in his first season under McVay and lead the Rams to their first playoff appearance since 2004. He took a major leap from his rookie year and improved in every statistical category. In 15 games, Goff passed for 3,804 yards (253.6 yards per game), had a 62.1 completion percentage, 7.98 yards per attempt, and 28 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. His quarterback rating was 100.5 which was the fifth highest in the entire league. It was clearly evident that Goff took a massive step forward in his second year and that he was beginning to look like a number one overall pick.
This season, Goff has been even more impressive than he was last year. Goff currently ranks 2nd in the NFL in passing yards with 3,134 (313.4 yards a game), 7th in completion percentage (68.4%), 2nd in yards per attempt (9.44), 4th in passing touchdowns (22), and 5th in quarterback rating (113.0). He has lead the Rams to an NFL best 9-1 record and is having an MVP caliber season. Goff looks extremely comfortable in the pocket, surveys the field as good as anyone, and makes throws into the tightest of windows. Multiple times this year I have found myself amazed by throws on the run that Goff has made look so simple. It seems like Goff does everything with ease this season. He does not panic under pressure and very rarely ever makes a mistake. It may have taken a few years, but I can confidently say that Jared Goff has evolved into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Photo: Elliot Harrison/NFL.com