Jared Goff has been sacked fewer times in 12 games this season than he was in his seven starts as a rookie in 2016. The Arizona Cardinals sacked Jared Goff seven times when they first met in the finale of the 2016 season, a 44-6 victory by the Cardinals. When the Cardinals faced Goff again, from London in Week 7 this season, Goff was sacked only once in a 33-0 win by his Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams have had no problem giving Jared Goff more responsibility in recent weeks. The invaluable insight Keenum provided, often without trying to, has stuck with Goff in his second year in the league. Seeing his former teammate succeed is where it all comes full circle.
Through 10 games, Goff is throwing an interception on only 1.3 percent of his passing attempts. That’s the fourth-best rate in the wholesale NFL jerseys and his best mark since at least high school. As a rookie last season, Goff threw an interception 3.4 percent of the time, ranked 29th among 33 quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts. In three seasons at Cal, Goff threw an interception no less than 1.4 percent of the time.
He’s just doing everything better, from spinning the ball to going to the right receivers. Goff has been helped by the resurgence of Todd Gurley — the way the quarterback and running back feed off each other, they remind me of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott with the Cowboys last season. Coach Sean McVay has played a huge role in Goff’s success, coming up with some concepts that are totally new and novel — if Goff were to win this award, he and McVay should split the trophy in half.
The former Cal Golden Bear went winless in his seven starts and finished with more interceptions than touchdowns. But under the guidance of McVay, Goff has flourished. Indeed, merely saying that he has improved is an understatement: He’s tracking for the second biggest increase in passer rating — a measure of how good a quarterback is — from year one to year two of any QB in history to make at least 200 passing attempts in each year.
Keenum, who is six years older at 29, was a mentor to Goff and remained so even after Keenum lost his job nine games into the season. Both have been downright deadly on third down and in the red zone. Goff has a 64 percent completion rate with seven touchdowns and two interceptions on third down; Wentz is a touch better with a 66.4 completion rate with 12 touchdowns and two picks.
At the four-minute mark of the second quarter, Cooper Kupp caught a short pass from Jared Goff on a slant route but fumbled at the Vikings’ 1-yard line, giving the Rams their first turnover in a span of four weeks. On third-and-10 at the Vikings’ 49 early in the third quarter, Goff made an accurate deep throw down the middle of the field to Kupp, his favorite third-down target, but Kupp dropped it.
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The Rams’ defense forced its third of four turnovers on the Texans’ ensuing snap, when rookie outside linebacker Samson Ebukam recorded a sack that forced a fumble that was picked up by teammate Tyrunn Walker. On the Rams’ next play, McVay dialed up some creativity. Goff faked a handoff to Gurley. Woods faked the jet sweep behind them, then sprinted back out to the right side, caught a pass in the flat and spun in for a 12-yard score.
Seven times this season, Goff has finished a game with zero interceptions. The invaluable insight Keenum provided, often without trying to, has stuck with Goff in his second year in the league. Seeing his former teammate succeed is where it all comes full circle.
Goff sports the NFL’s fifth-best interception rate and went five weeks without one, until Sammy Watkins’ desperation attempt on Sunday resulted in him tipping the ball to an opposing cornerback. Goff threw the ball 43 times in Week 10, even though the Rams routed the Houston Texans.
Kupp has been a favorite of Jared Goff’s since the first game of the season. I love his competitiveness after the catch. Carson Wentz and Jared Goff meet for the first time since being selected with the top two picks in 2016. Jacksonville’s upstart defensive unit takes on Seattle’s traditionally stout group. And the Steelers and Ravens renew their AFC North rivalry.