He struggled in the preseason, going 22-of-49 for 232 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and three fumbles, hardly looking comfortable with the speed of the game. He began the regular season as an inactive third-stringer and was promoted to backup for Week 2. But as the regular season began, Rams coaches began to praise Goff’s development.
About mid-October, offensive coordinator Rob Boras said Goff was “not asking rookie questions anymore,” a clear indication he was finally grasping the offense. And after Goff got all the first-team reps during the Rams’ bye week, Boras praised the way he Sam Koch Youth Jersey translated it onto the field — the quickness with which he got in and out of the huddle, the confidence he displayed as he approached the line of scrimmage, the accuracy with which he delivered passes.
The Rams’ offense has been lifeless of late, in desperate need of a spark. The Rams are dead last in the NFL in points per game, with a quarterback who has shouldered the game’s lowest Total QBR for pretty much the entire season. Lately, their defense has been dominant and their special teams play has been a major positive. But the offense has held them back. They stopped their four-game losing streak by beating the Jets on Sunday, but it came by a 9-6 score because their offense couldn’t capitalize on three separate drives into the red zone.
Now the Rams will be at home, in front of the Shareece Wright Youth Jersey same Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum crowd that began a “We Want Goff!” chant nine days earlier, and Goff will not carry the burden of a long losing streak.
This was never really about Keenum, who handled a difficult situation admirably and at times actually played well. It wasn’t about Goff’s ability, because that can be difficult to decipher from a handful of scout-team reps. This was about Fisher having the confidence to pull the trigger; about growing comfortable with the unknown of a rookie quarterback who is only one month removed from his 22nd birthday.
Five rookie quarterbacks have started at least one game in the NFL this season, but all of them — Carson Wentz with the Eagles, Dak Prescott with the Cowboys, Jacoby Brissett with the Patriots, Cody Kessler with the Browns and Paxton Lynch with the Broncos — were thrust into the role because of unforeseen circumstances. Goff comes out of a Cal system that ran an air raid offense in which he never had to communicate plays from the huddle, take a snap from under center or make so much as a third progression.