Last week, I wrote a piece stressing the importance of utilizing Jared Goff‘s arm for big-play opportunities downfield. Despite showcasing a turnover-free game, which proved to be one of his biggest struggles in preseason play, Goff’s first NFL career start will forever be attached to that cloudy and rainy Sunday afternoon rather than his actual performance itself. Now, it’d be tumultuous for anyone to rest the blame solely on this year’s first overall pick. Goff didn’t play a bad game, but he didn’t play a good one either.
Jared Goff’s Performance an Indication of Jeff Fisher‘s Mediocre Coaching
The rain, to many, might have played a pivotal factor throughout the contest; but not with Goff. In an interview conducted the day before the game, several sources from Fox Sports asked the Cal Bear product whether or not he’d like to have the game rescheduled if it did in fact rain.
Goff responded, “No, I want to show you guys that I can throw in the rain.”
Much of that can be credited to his pro day workout, where Rams scouts were left in awe following his strong showing, completing 61 of 69 passes. Despite his great performance, most NFL scouts still held concerns regarding his hand size. Pep Hamilton, quarterbacks coach of the Cleveland Browns, went on to make Goff throw wet footballs during throwing drills, which he was able to handle better than expected; rising his draft stock leading up to the draft.
Jared Goff’s play didn’t cost the Rams a 14-10 loss against the Miami Dolphins. The coaching staff – specifically head coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Rob Boras – led the Rams to their fifth loss in their previous six games.
Every Rams fan is aware of the identity of this team. Just like the ordinary NFC West franchise, Los Angeles is best known for winning games through a ground-and-pound scheme. Such a scheme, however, had been non-existent in previous weeks. Before Case Keenum’s benching, he had a two-game stretch where he attempted 56 and 46 passes, by far the most of his career, as well as any Rams quarterback in recent memory. With the running game that’s also been struggling as of late, Los Angeles only managed to score 20 points in those losses.
The belief coming into last Sunday’s game was that Goff’s presence at quarterback would have created more openings for Todd Gurley and more throwing opportunities downfield. And it did to a certain degree. Despite Todd Gurley’s pedestrian performace, the second-year back was able to punch into the endzone with a 24-yard run, arguably his biggest and most exciting rush this season.
Gurley’s production diminished throughout the course of the game, when the Dolphins coaching staff and players realized that Fisher and Boras were utilizing Goff in the same conservative manner as they did with Keenum; attempting short horizontal throws and quick dump-offs all throughout the game.
“Late, we were winning and we were running the ball”, Goff told reporters after the game. “That’s when we got dry. That’s when they had the passes. I’d like to throw some balls downfield, but it’s up to them.”
What hoped out to be a promising start to the Goff era in the city of Angels turned out to be just another added chapter of the same demise that’s been aching the Rams this season.