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Jared Goff to start for Rams against Dolphins

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The Los Angeles Rams are finally ready to see if No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff can turn their offense around.

NFL Network's Michael Silver confirmed with Goff that the Rams plan to start the rookie Sunday against the Dolphins in Los Angeles. ESPN first reported the news, and the team later confirmed the switch to Goff. Case Keenum, who started nine games this season, will hit the bench after failing to lead the Rams to a touchdown in New Jersey on Sunday in a 9-6 win over the Jets.

Coach Jeff Fisher certainly didn't make the decision based on the desires of his fan base, but this should mollify the 80,000-plus folks in the L.A. Coliseum who were chanting Goff's name during the Rams' Week 9 home loss to Carolina.

This decision was overdue. NFL Network's Steve Wyche previously reported that Goff has made significant progress in practice during the regular season, and Keenum was not showing the same improvement. Since the first promising drive of the Rams' game in London, Keenum piloted the Rams for 34 drives. On those drives, Keenum threw five interceptions and the team scored one offensive touchdown, which came in garbage time.

Goff struggled badly in the preseason, failing to beat out Sean Mannion for the team's backup job coming out of training camp. Goff was quickly elevated to the No. 2 job, but he bided his time on the bench while other rookies like Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz and Cody Kessler gained valuable experience.

There is always the risk that Goff isn't "ready" but the Rams should be looking beyond just the 2016 season. They are 4-5 on the year and in the NFC playoff race, but Goff's development is more important than any playoff race with no hope for a title. Eli Manning has often talked about the experience of struggling when he played late in his rookie season as invaluable.

There's also a strong argument that the Rams' offense literally can't get any worse. They are dead last in points scored and now it's up to Goff to try to breathe life into a group that includes a revived Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin and franchise running back Todd Gurley.

Goff will get his first start against a strong defensive line against Miami, but the schedule is mostly favorable after that. He'll face lower tier defenses like New Orleans, Atlanta and San Francisco, although a road trip to Seattle in Week 15 will be a steep test.

The Rams can only hope that will be the first for Goff in a decade's worth of trips on the road in the NFC West.

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