Jared Goff and the Gift He Doesn’t Deserve
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.
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