Loyal fans, and those followers that may stay true to a team for no apparent reason, will often support their quarterback under any circumstances. Painting one’s face blue and cheering shirtless in 20 degree weather is quite a noble act. This, however, does not change a team’s facts and statistics, nor does it define their quarterback. Take the LA Rams, for example. They made it to the playoffs in January 2019 and there are some that would say it was the quarterback, Jared Goff, that got them there. When they made it to the Superbowl, this gave those loyal fans even more bragging rights, but it is clear that Jared Goff is the worst NFC West quarterback to make it to a Super Bowl.
In Super Bowl 53, the Rams tied up the record for fewest points earned in a Super Bowl. They share this title with the Miami Dolphins from Super Bowl 6. It takes a pretty weak quarterback to make that happen. It was Jared Goff’s myriad of mistakes during the Super Bowl that caused such an embarrassing low score. For example, when Cooks was wide open, Goff throws the ball half a second too late and the pass is incomplete, Riley McAtee tells us in their article “Jared Goff Had the Worst Game of His Life on the Biggest Stage”, written only a day after the game on February 4th, 2019. Then he did some sort of head bob that landed him a false start. There were so many mistakes made in that game, that even the biggest and most loyal Rams fan must succumb to the facts and admit that Goff is the worst NFC West quarterback to make it to a Super Bowl.
Some loyal fans may use Jared Goff’s young age to defend his underwhelming and embarrassing Super Bowl performance. He is 24 years old, which is a prime age for an athlete. This past Super Bowl was his chance to shine, and he failed miserably. There have been many quarterbacks in their mid twenties to make it to the Super Bowl and complete passes without making crucial mistakes. Take a look at Ben Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl win against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006. He was only 23 years old when he won his first of two Super Bowl rings. Tom Brady was only 24 years old in 2002 when the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams. Now even though age doesn’t define how great a player can be and comparing them to great quarterbacks at a young age may sound ridiculous to some, it does give us the input that Goff will never be able to be considered as great as the quarterbacks listed simply because they beat him to the task. They were able to accomplish something that Goff couldn’t, and that’s prove yourself as an established, franchise quarterback who can make big time plays in big time situations such as the Super Bowl.
Although his college career at Cal was considered amazing to some, and was able to land him a position as a first round draft pick, this did not carry through to his Super Bowl performance. Carl Stone tells us in his article “Top 50 College Quarterbacks Who Didn’t Pan out as Pros”, written on April 1, 2012, that Ryan Leaf, Vincent Young, Matt Leineart, and Johnny Manziel were other great college quarterbacks who failed to transition their talent at the NFL level. Although Goff has seemed to cement himself in the Rams offense, much like the quarterbacks listed above to their respected teams, only time will tell how the rest of his career pans out. Goff is still young, and may have a good career ahead of him, but the odds are that he will be less successful than most people believe. Manziel, for example, was able to break the starting lineup in Cleveland. After a short 2 year tenure, he was waived because of reckless behavior. Goff has shown no signs that his career will be plagued by off field activities, but his might be ruined due to poor play and not being able to step up during big times in big games.
A quarterbacks play is a vital component to the success of an American football team. And it shows. The Los Angeles Rams are a perfect example of this. Their defense ended up in fifth in the league during the playoffs for total yards allowed per game by an opposing team with 335 total yards let up, and fourth in the league during the playoffs for total rushing yards allowed per game by an opposing team with 84 yards let up. They were also ranked seventh in the league during the playoffs for pass yards allowed with 251 yards per game. They didn’t need to rely on Goff exceeding expectations because their defense was able to hold off offenses from running or passing all over them, for the most part. Now let’s discuss Goff’s help on offense. Running back Todd Gurley led the league in rushing touchdowns, finding the end zone 17 times during the regular season, and placed third in total rushing yards with 1,251 yards. This allows the offense to open up the field and makes the defense worry about stacking the box, giving Goff a better opportunity to throw the ball. During the post season, back up running back CJ Anderson placed sixth in rushing yards per game with 63 yards and found the end zone twice throughout all of playoffs, the same amount of touchdowns lead back Todd Gurley had during the post season. Goff had a lot of help this post season from his defense, and even more help in the regular season thanks to Gurley. In regular season yards per game, the Rams had 2 out of the 3 top spots in yards per game with CJ Anderson at 149.5 yards and Todd Gurley at 89.4 yards per game.
We can look at statistics all day long, but more information to this argument proves numbers don’t matter. Worries about how Goff is expected to perform in the 2019 season are rising, and that is effecting how much he will be getting paid. In the article “Signing Jared Goff to an extension this offseason would be a mistake” on RamsWire by Cameron DaSilva posted on March 4th, 2019, DaSilva goes on to explain just how much the team gave up to acquire 1st overall pick Jared Goff during the 2016 draft. They coughed up two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two third-round picks to the Titans just to get their hands on him. But the question of the article is what should they do with him moving forward. That questions his play and value. Another reason for pushing off his extension is because they need to get cap room to re sign free agents in their defense, like pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. DaSilva also explains how much of a drop off Goff had throughout the last 8 games, completing less than 60 percent of his passes and throwing more interceptions (8) than he had touchdowns (7). That is a great concern for a team, especially if they were considering giving him a pay day because of the way he performed earlier in the year. More reasoning as to why DaSilva doesn’t think Goff should get an extension to his contract is because the Rams have plenty of time to give him a payday at a later point and time; no reason to rush paying him when time is on their side.
In another article “If Jared Goff is their future, the Rams are running out of time” pulled from USA Today written by Steven Ruiz on December 17th, 2018, Ruiz explains how the Rams won’t win anything with Goff under center. Sean McVay, the Rams head coach, was quoted saying, “He’s got to make better decisions, especially when we end up falling out underneath the center on third-and-1. You know, sometimes the only play is to just eat it and take that sack.” This goes to show in crunch time McVay is questioning his own quarterback’s abilities. Ruiz also goes on to talk about just how lucky Goff is to be on this team. He says, “Goff has everything a quarterback could ask for — a great scheme, good receivers, a consistently productive running game and a tremendous offensive line — and we still aren’t quite sure if he’s good enough to lead this Rams team to a Super Bowl. That’s with him accounting for about 4% of the team’s cap. What’s going to happen when that number jumps up to 15%? His line won’t be nearly as good, the defense will give up a few more points and his receiving corps will take a hit, which has already seems to be having an effect on Goff.” This is exactly what will happen to the Rams. His current contract doesn’t make up for a ton of the teams cap space, which allows them to get other assets of the team they need to let Goff succeed. Right when they take away these other components of the team, he’s doomed. He needs a good offensive line to protect him, he needs a good defense to limit the other team from scoring, he needs a good running back to open up the field, and he needs good receivers to catch the ball and turn up field. Even with all of these things, he’s still being questioned if the team actually needs him. Not only that, but when these parts of the team he needs to flourish leave (if they give him the extension that is) then Goff will be carried no more. Everything will be on his shoulders and he won’t do as well as he is doing now. If this does happen, he’ll be exposed for the embarrassment of a player he is. When by himself in an offense, he will collapse. We saw this in his rookie season, and he was gifted multiple weapons because he can’t do it himself. Now, it’s not like him not having help and playing poorly defines who he is because a lot of players go through the same struggles, but seeing how he had an awful first couple seasons then chokes in the biggest game of someone’s life, it would certainly define the type of player he is. Not to mention the coaching he has been aided. Sean McVahy turned that team around from nothing after Jeff Fisher drove it into the ground, taking them far into the playoffs then to the Super Bowl in his first and only 2 seasons as the Rams head coach, he does’t get the credit he deserves.
Back to the numbers, how good were Goff’s pass catching options? Two of his receivers, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, ended up at the thirteenth and fourteenth ranked receiving yards leaders raking in 1200+ yards in the regular season. Woods had 86 receptions in the regular season and Cooks had 80 receptions, leaving them outside of the top fifteen in receptions yet inside the top 15 in total yards. That is very good efficiency. Goff had tons of help on practically every end of the spectrum. The only problem in that offense is him, and there is plenty of statistics that prove this.
Jared Goff being the worst post season quarterback to represent an NFC West team in the Super Bowl is something that can’t be defined through sports writers opinions, but rather something that needs to be proved through numbers. Numbers that define his performance, his efficiency, and what he contributes to his team. The regular season statistics are irrelevant to his play in the post season, and will be ignored. In his 2 playoff appearances, I know that Jared Goff is the worst post season quarterback to represent an NFC West team in the Super Bowl.
The first thing to look at is Goff’s efficiency in the most recent post season, that just ended a little more than a month ago. Out of all 12 quarterbacks who took snaps, Goff placed 10th with a quarterback rating of 45.6. Quarterback rating is a statistic used by sports analysis’ that measures the entire performance of a quarterback, from how he’s done passing, rushing, the amount of turnovers he’s committed, and how many penalties have been called against him and is on a scale from 0-100. To put his 45.6 into perspective, Phillip Rivers led the league in post season QBR with a 78.4. Now with his 45.6 QBR, his best QBR this post season was against the New Orleans Saints with a 75.1. To put that into perspective, the best QBR in a game this post season was Tom Brady against the Los Angeles Chargers with an 87.2. Goff’s worst QBR in the three game post season span was an awful 13.5 in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. What these statistics show is that although he had the 4th best QBR in a single post season game, he had the 2nd worst in a single post season game. Although he was able to make it all the way up to the Super Bowl, he seems to be nothing but a liability on a talented team, who shows signs of decency but is ultimately holding them back.
It’s time to focus on Goff’s Super Bowl performance, and how it relates to past quarterbacks performances. For starters, he threw 38 passes and completed 19 of them, averaging 4.7 yards per pass. Just in a quick comparison to his opponent that game, Tom Brady threw 35 passes and completed 21 of them averaging 7 yards per pass. Although the attempts and completions are relatively close, the ‘yards per pass’ show us that Goff was tossing up much safer throws for significantly less yards. Neither quarterbacks threw a touch down in the contest, but Goff managed to commit a turnover with his 1 interception that was thrown with less than 5 minutes in the game, down 10-3, and on his opponents 27 yard line. The Rams were forming a comeback drive late in the game and he choked. Brady hauled the ball for 262 yards and Goff threw for 229 yards. Enough of comparing the two that competed against each other, lets take a look at the worst Super Bowl appearances by NFC West quarterbacks. The NFC West has represented the NFC in the Super Bowl 14 times. The Niners have 6 appearances, the Rams have 4, the Seahawks have 3, and the Cardinals stand at one. It’s only fair to compare Goff with the 2nd worst NFC West Super Bowl performance by a fellow Ram in quarterback Vince Ferragamo, who threw 25 passes for 15 completions, 212 yards, and 8.5 yards per pass with an interception during Super Bowl XIV against the dominant Pittsburgh Steelers. Although these stats seem very close, the thing you have to look at is the fact that Goff threw 13 more passes while only completing 4 more, and the fact that Goff’s yards per pass is nearly half of Ferragamo’s. Another brutal NFC West quarterback’s Super Bowl performance we can look at is Matt Hasselbeck’s in Super Bowl XL for the Seattle Seahawks. In a face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hasselbeck threw a whopping 49 attempts while completing 26 of them for 273 yards on 5.6 yards per pass, an interception, and a touchdown. With the amount of attempts Hasselbeck threw, he still managed to stay above 50% on completions at 53%. One thing Goff, Ferragamo, and Hasselbeck all have in common is that they all lost. But Goff’s loss to the Patriots is something both record breaking and embarrassing: he was the quarterback for only the second team in Super Bowl history not to find the end zone throughout the entire contest, and took part in the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever with a total of 16 points scored.
Finally, comparing Goff to a plethora of other quarterbacks may not seem like the best way to prove his worth to some people. So, instead, let’s define greatness and what it means to be “great”. James Arthur Ray tells us in his article “WHAT IS GREATNESS”, which was published on July 5th, 2015 that, “True greatness is the ability to achieve what you choose to achieve in the area you choose to achieve it; and to achieve it with excellence and a level of mastery.” This is truly something that Goff has not been able to accomplish. Both years that he’s made it to the playoffs, he’s either lost in the first round or sneaked into the Super Bowl and gotten embarrassed. Even in his rookie season the Rams couldn’t make it to the playoffs, but not all the fault can be put on Goff. Even with their team today, having one of the best young coaches the NFL has ever seen in Sean McVay, a top rushing yards back in Todd Gurley, and one of the most feared defenses in the league, Goff lacks to prove his greatness and more so shows his weakness. He has certainly not achieved any sort of greatness in his poor performances and most definitely has not achieved anything with excellence and absolutely no sort of level of mastery. He has achieved weakness in the fact that he makes it to the Super Bowl and posts one of the worst QBRs during that post season with a 13.5 and even proves it in the minutes that matter, throwing his interception with just under 5 minutes left in the game while trying to host a comeback drive. Jared Goff is not elite, and is certainly not worthy enough to be starting for an NFL team after the kind of performance he had on February 3rd, 2019. He is the worst quarterback to represent the NFC West in a Super Bowl.
Ray, J. A. (2015, July 05). WHAT IS GREATNESS. Retrieved on March 10 2019 from https://www.jamesray.com/w0hat-is-greatness/
Maske, M. (2019, February 03). Patriots beat Rams, 13-3, for a record-tying sixth Super Bowl championship. Retrieved on March 10 2019 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/patriots-beat-rams-13-3-for-a-record-tying-sixth-super-bowl-championship/2019/02/03/10992a8c-27f6-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html?utm_term=.3970ea663fa9
50 Top College Football Quarterbacks Who Didn’t Pan out as Pros Stine, Carl https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1126774-50-top-college-football-quarterbacks-who-didnt-pan-out-as-pros
McAtee, Riley February 2019 Jared Goff had the Worse Game of his Life on the Biggest Stagehttps://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/2/4/18210099/jared-goff-los-angeles-rams-super-bowl-liii
DaSilva, C. (2019, March 4). Signing Jared Goff to an extension this offseason would be a mistake. Retrieved from https://theramswire.usatoday.com/2019/03/04/nfl-rams-jared-goff-contract-extension-offseason/
Ruiz, S. (2018, December 17). If Jared Goff is their future, the Rams are running out of time. Retrieved from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/12/nfl-rams-jared-goff-future-contract