With only ten-and-one-half minutes left to play, one much maligned and underachieving quarterback playing on a bad team whose coach had been rightly criticized throughout a blisteringly horrid season saw his team down by 14 points, took control, passing and rushing and completing key passes and scoring himself, and brought his team back with not just two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but also carrying the ball across the goal line for a game-winning two-point conversion.
The other much maligned and underachieving quarterback playing on a bad team whose coach had been rightly criticized throughout a blisteringly horrid season, after seeing his
team’s lead disappear in the closing minutes, returned to the field with little time – less then a minute on the clock – but in decent field position, needing only 20 yards to put his excellent place kicker in position for a game-winning field goal attempt. This second much maligned quarterback threw on incomplete pass, and followed that with a very poorly thrown second pass, right into the hands of a rookie defensive back, for all intents and purposes, a game-ending interception.
Thus is the story of the 2016 Los Angeles Rams and quarterback Jared Goff, who with each passing game, shows over and over again the magnificent folly that was his choice as the number one pick in the 2016 NFL draft, a choice designed to select a franchise quarterback who would lead the moribund Rams from oblivion to the promised land. Instead, the incompetent fools who comprise the Rams’ “brain” trust bypassed one or two emerging star quarterbacks, instead selecting a future journeyman underachiever, destined to join the ranks of fellows like Terry Baker, Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell as punch lines to the sad but comical question of selecting with the highest draft choices some of the worst pro quarterbacks ever drafted.
Goff’s performance yesterday at the venerable LA Coliseum against the worst defensive team in the NFL is best described as laughable, as the sad part has now long since passed
into mere nostalgia. When it counted yesterday, and unlike his 49ers counterpart Colin Kaepernick, Goff had nothing, throwing twice and only completing one and that into the hands of the opponent. For the game, Goff’s stats were less than pink-slip quality: 11 completions in 24 attempts for all of 90 yards, one TD and two interceptions, and a 35.1 quarterback rating, lowering his season’s rating to 61.7, which puts him below the top 30 rated NFL quarterbacks. In fact, only two quarterbacks who have started a game this season are rated lower than Goff, and they are named Drew Stanton and Bryce Petty.
Sure, many future starting quarterbacks struggled in their first season, but the flashes of potential in Goff’s performances are getting far fewer and much further apart as his time on the field increases. Two decent throws yesterday do not make up for frequent hesitancy, poor choices and numerous badly thrown passes. Yesterday’s game might well be Goff’s poorest performance of the season, demonstrating a declining rather than improving curve in his learning and performing experiences.
Finally, the “experts” said that Todd Gurley would have that first great game they’ve waited so long to see against the very bad San Francisco run defense. Well, Gurley had plenty of two-yard runs, and not much more, gaining all of 67 yards on the day, just above
his season’s average, but in 23 carries, for a below-season’s average 2.9 yards per carry. His 3.2 yards per carry season’s average gets Gurley 40th place, out of 42, among qualifying NFL running backs for the season.
And next week, Goff and the Rams close out the season against the NFL’s sixth BEST defense, the Arizona Cardinals. It will not be pretty.