Jared Goff came into the NFL with high expectations after the Rams took him with the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. He put up good numbers in 2017 and 2018 — his first two full seasons as the team’s starter — and even led the Rams to Super Bowl LIII in February.
Now, the Rams are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, though, as we head into Week 15 of the 2019 season — and Goff may be the reason why. He has regressed this season, and it may have started during the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.
Jared Goff is struggling this season
After throwing 32 touchdown passes last season, Goff may be hard-pressed to throw 20 this season. Through 13 games, he has thrown for 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, with that latter number already exceeding his total from all of last season — with four games left in 2019.
After Week 13, Goff was in the bottom-third of the league in passer rating, and he has the fourth-worst QBR of all qualifying quarterbacks at just 41.1. His touchdowns put him in the bottom 10 among quarterbacks, and he has thrown the fourth-most interceptions in the league, tied with another recent Super Bowl-losing quarterback in Matt Ryan.
The Rams’ have great potential
The Rams should be doing better than they are because their offense has great potential, which it realized last season. RB Todd Gurley was the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft, and he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award that season.
Then in 2017, he was named the Offensive Player of the Year. And the Rams have one of the league’s best receiving trios with WRs Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. Cooks and Woods each had more than 1,200 receiving yards last season on 80-plus receptions.
And Kupp is just over 50 yards away from his first 1,000-yard season, which he may have achieved last season if he didn’t have an injury-shortened campaign. Even on defense, they have DT Aaron Donald, one of the league’s top defenders, and traded for CB Jalen Ramsey before the season, but they’re only around the middle-of-the-pack in scoring defense.
Is Jared Goff holding the Rams back?
The quarterback is usually the player who makes or breaks a team’s success so is Goff responsible for the Rams’ disappointing season? They’re still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but they still have some work to do if they want to get into the postseason.
Goff is going to have to step up if he wants to get the Rams a third-straight postseason appearance. Goff’s flaws are being exposed more this season than they have in the past because the rest of the team around him isn’t performing as well as it has the last couple of years.
The defense isn’t as good, and the running game is virtually nonexistent, putting more pressure on Goff to perform and allowing defenses to focus more on him with Gurley and the rest of the running backs not performing well. The Rams have the talent to turn things around, but with only a few games left in the regular season they need to do it quickly because they’re running out of time.
Super Bowl hangover?
The underperforming offense goes all the way back to the Super Bowl, when the Rams scored just three points on 260 yards. Goff completed only 50% of his passes in the game, threw an interception, and was sacked four times.
It’s possible that Goff’s lack of success this season may be related to his disappointing Super Bowl performance. If he still has that loss on his mind, it may be affecting his psyche, and thus having an effect when he’s on the field.