The Rejuvenation of Jared Goff
By: Michael Aaron Chase Jr.
54.6% completion percentage, 5.3 yards per attempt, 5 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a 3.4% interception percentage. These were the numbers in a 7 game rookie campaign for last year’s 1st overall pick Jared Goff. Not impressive by any means, and the offense with him under center many times last year looked borderline unwatchable. Though something has seemed to click through the first quarter of this season for this young QB. It is not just one factor either, there are many components to this young man looking like a player worthy of the first overall pick. Now because of the adjustments the Rams organization has made, Jared Goff’s career seems to be quickly on the path of becoming a franchise QB.
The Los Angeles Rams were in disarray as an organization last season. From a head coach not making much of an effort to work on offense in Jeff Fisher. To a front office not making enough quality moves to improve the team significantly. As well as the chaos of the move by the franchise back to LA. This franchise needed a change from the mediocrity it endured the past 4 years. So they did just that by firing Jeff Fisher and hiring the youngest head coach in NFL history in 31 year old Sean McVay.
This hiring by GM Les Snead seems to have worked well for young Jared Goff, as now he has a coach that is willing to work on offense and focus on his development. McVay helped turn Kirk Cousins into the legitimate starting QB he is now, and the same seems to be happening with Goff. McVay is now allowing Goff to throw the ball down the field, as Goff is averaging 9.2 yards per pass attempt. This is something the Rams seemed hesitant to do last year for a multitude of reasons. Though this trust by McVay in his young quarterback is huge for Goff’s confidence and building a rhythm within the offense as well. Goff also has thrown the ball 205 times in 4 games this year, compared to the 117 attempts he had in 7 games last year. Again displaying the lack of fear McVay shows towards putting the ball in his QB’s hands. Thus with the implementation of McVay’s offense that made the Redskins the top big play offense in the NFL last year. It has now turned Goff and the Rams into the highest scoring offense in football.
The other big factors that have led to the resurgence of Jared Goff all have to deal with quality personnel decisions. This offseason the Rams made it a point to do all they could to improve the league’s worst offense last year. First they needed to address what was a porous offensive line and they did just that. Signing veteran linemen Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan, giving Goff great blindside protection and a knowledgeable NFL veteran center. Goff has been sacked only 4 times in 4 games which is a pretty good rate that could improve with growth in continuity. Thus you keep your quarterback upright and give him time to throw, all of a sudden he looks not only competent but really good. The o-line improvement has also helped give Goff a running game with Todd Gurley looking like his rookie self. Now that creates even more opportunities for the passing game with the defense having to respect and work to stop the run.
The other big additions are all a part of a new revamped set of pass catchers that Jared Goff has to work with. Last year Goff had Kenny Britt, Brian Quick, and Lance Kendricks as his main receiving weapons. Britt now is an unproductive member of the Cleveland Browns, and Quick and Kendricks as back-ups to back-ups on other teams. Now he has speedster Sammy Watkins, the solid Robert Woods, promising possession receiver Cooper Kupp, and a young developing tight end in Gerald Everett.
These players now give Goff legitimate talent on the outside that the defense has to respect and the ability to make big plays down the field is available much more than it was last year. Results confirming with Goff having 20 20+ yard completions and 3 40+ yards completions, compared to 12 and 1 all of last year respectively. Add in the versatility of Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley, and now you have the makings of a legitimate offense that is no pushover for teams to game plan for. Thus you give a young quarter back viable weapons to throw to now he goes from 1,089 pass yards, 5 TD’s and 7 int’s in 7 games to 1,072 pass yards, 7 TD’s and 1 int in 4 games.
Overall thanks to a change in culture through the hiring of a new young Head Coach. Along with an off-season commitment to completely overhauling an abysmal offensive group. Now has Jared Goff’s career back on a promising trajectory, from the bust like performance he put on last year. Now it is still to be seen whether or not this great start by Goff and the offense can continue. As well as if the Rams can remain relevant as a factor in the NFC playoff picture. One thing though is certain, and it is that Jared Goff and the Rams are clearly on the rise and the rest of the NFL better watch out.