Around the NFL  

 

Jared Goff's 'complete 180' has Rams playoff-ready

Print

Jared Goff is in the midst of one of the best non-injury turnarounds in the NFL.

The Los Angeles Rams quarterback followed up a disastrous, winless rookie campaign, with a steady, sometimes spectacular, near-playoff-clinching season.

Goff's 35.3-point increase in passer rating over last season is the largest jump in the NFL. His 98.9 passer rating puts him fifth all-time for a second-year quarterback (Kurt Warner: 109.2, 1999; Dan Marino: 108.9, 1984; Carson Wentz: 101.9, 2017; Russell Wilson 101.2, 2013).

Goff was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl, which means he'll likely be added at some point, given Carson Wentz's injury.

While the turnaround from hot mess to steady eddy has surprised most outside the Rams' facility, not everyone was shocked the quarterback has flipped the script so quickly.

"I said it at the beginning that he was going to make a complete 180," corner Trumaine Johnson said, via ESPN. "Personally, in my opinion, he should've been selected first team, too. But he's been doing a great job, man, with this whole team."

Thanks in large part to Sean McVay scheming up wide open receivers, and an improved offensive line, Goff's numbers have improved across the board:

Goff 2016: 7 games, 54.6 completion percentage; 5.3 yards per attempt, 5 TDs, 7 INTs, 63.6 passer rating.
Goff 2017: 14 games, 62.4 completion percentage; 8.0 yards per attempt, 24 TDs, 7 INTs, 98.9 passer rating.

Goff downplayed the turnaround, saying it was merely a product of the team around him and the natural course of acclimating to the NFL.

"It happens at every level, in high school and college and now in the pros," Goff said. "The first season is learning a lot, and then the second season it starts to settle down, and it continues to go that way as time goes on."

Goff is the latest lesson in patience with young players. Casting off high draft picks as "busts" has almost become a niche industry. Doing so ignores the giant leap from college to pro -- both physically and mentally -- especially for a quarterback learning new aspects of running the offense.

Goff's turnaround also underscores the importance of a creative coaching mind that can nurture a talented growing passer -- not just toss him into traffic and see if he can frogger his way to the other side.

"The guy went No. 1," Rams running back Todd Gurley said earlier this season. "Dude don't go No. 1 for no reason."

Goff went No. 1 and almost imploded as a rookie. Now he's displaying poise and distributing ability in McVay's offense, which has the Rams poised to make their first playoff appearance since 2004.

Print

Fan Discussion