Rams' Jared Goff up and down in first career start


It was no disaster, but Jared Goff was far from a savior in his NFL debut.

The Rams rookie quarterback played from wire-to-wire through murky weather in a 14-10 loss at home to the Miami Dolphins. Along the way, the top pick in the draft looked the part of a first-time starter.

Tied to the NFL's lowest-scoring offense, Goff finished 17-of-31 passing for 134 yards, the lowest output through the air for Los Angeles since Week 1. A handful of Goff's incompletions sailed high, but the rookie also went the entire way without committing a turnover -- a welcome change after Case Keenum threw eight picks over his past five starts.

"As far as Jared's concerned, he did a really good job," Jeff Fisher said after the game. "No delay of games, was in complete control in the huddle, did a nice job on the line of scrimmage. I was disappointed in the outcome of the game, but I think you could see the light. There's light there for him. So we'll allow him to get ready and continue to progress."

Much will be made of Goff's effect on Todd Gurley, the Rams running back who bashed the Dolphins for 76 yards at 3.8 yards per attempt. His 24-yard touchdown gallop in the opening quarter was Gurley's first run of 20-plus yards all season.

It's a positive that Gurley broke free with Goff under center, but suggesting that Miami was overly concerned with the rookie's arm strength is a massive stretch. Goff barely tested the secondary, overseeing a ponderously conservative attack that finished 2-of-13 on third down.

Goff showed a quick release on a rash of throws and wasn't afraid to make decisions. Still, his 4.3 yards per attempt tell the story of a first-time starter leaning on short crossing routes and lobs over the middle. He didn't complete a pass that traveled 20 yards through the air all afternoon and repeatedly threw short of the sticks on third down.

Still, Goff deserves an ounce of credit for showing no signs of panic against a strong Miami pass rush. The rookie used his legs to evade tacklers more than once and rose to his feet after a crushing first-half sack by Cameron Wake. The slight-framed Goff held the ball too long on that play and paid for it.

Keenum undoubtedly watched this low-wattage tilt believing he could have done more through the air. Too bad. This is Goff's team now, and he'll be tested during an upcoming stretch of games against the Saints, Falcons, Patriots and Seahawks -- with all but the Atlanta matchup coming on the road.

Goff's trial by fire has begun.