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TST Roundtable: How Many Games Will Los Angeles Rams’ Rookie QB Jared Goff Start in 2016?

The TST staff are taking their best guess at how many games Jared Goff starts in 2016.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In just over five weeks, the Los Angeles Rams will kick off their 2016 season in a Monday Night Football game against the San Francisco 49ers. And while there are many personnel decisions to be made over the next month, the question atop the minds of most fans is whether or not the Rams’ top draft pick - Jared Goff - will trot onto the field as the team’s starter in Week 1.

Time will tell. Until then, we’ll prognosticate. The TST staff are taking their best guess at how many games Goff starts in 2016.

Elijah Kim - 16

First overall picks are supposed to start game one of the regular season. Recent history has shown that players like Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, Sam Bradford, etc. all entered the season as the starter of their respective team months after being drafted. For a Jeff Fisher team, it would make even more sense to start a QB that is not expected to pass more than 25 times a game and instead hand it off to Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin more often than not. Starting Keenum ahead of Goff would be like saving up 5 years for a brand new Ferrari, buying it, and still deciding to drive the old beater one more time.

Brent Lancaster - 9

Thus far, the Fisher Formula for highly drafted rookies has been to sit them at least a couple games, and then bring them out when they are arbitrarily ready, even if the rookies are far and away better than the starting options. With Case Keenum familiar with what the Rams like to do, and the Rams having the luxury of Todd Gurley in the backfield, I don't expect the Rams to start Goff until at least October. "Why throw him out there if the Rams have been winning with Keenum?" is likely Fisher's logic (and he wouldn't be wrong, technically). The Rams' bye week is the end of October, so I would expect Goff to be held out no later than after the bye. This is especially true if Keenum is struggling and the Rams are in games late but can't put up points. If Keenum is winning and putting points on the board, then what's the rush?

Brian Muehling - 13

Jared Goff will start 13 games. After the Rams start 1-2, Fisher will succumb to his senses and start his top pick in Arizona. Todd Gurley broke out in Arizona last year.

Sean Wilkinson - 16

I'm gonna be that guy that expects Goff to start 16 games. If he can't beat out Keenum in camp, then the Rams just wasted a whole lotta draft capital.

Tevin Broner - 14

Jared Goff will start 14 games. There is a good chance that they start 0-2, with Fisher and Snead on the last year of their contract, they could lean on Goff; not only because he could be the best option but if he looks good even if they don't have a winning record they could stick around

Eric Nagel - 16

Jeff Fisher hates rookies, but then again, he does whatever he feels like doing. Remember that spread offense in 2013? That was fun. Or the time he wanted to draft Justin Blackmon? Great memories. With that in mind, Case Keenum is currently the 'starter' for the Rams in camp. So I expect Jared Goff will start 16 games, because I can't predict anything the Rams do anymore.

Eddie Perez - 9

Rookie QB Jared Goff will start 9 games this season. His first game - the Panthers game after the bye week.

It will be the all too familiar narrative. The Rams offense will sputter to an awful start, forcing the Rams top 10 defense to stay on the field for too damn long. Jeff realizes his D is not a top 10 D, and he can't have that, no sir. That's when Jeff will declare Goff fit to start. And y'all can them make your assumption as to what happens.

Derrik Klassen - 16

The Rams traded away too many assets to sit Jared Goff. If they wanted to leave him out for the first few games, I wouldn't be against it, but with Case Keenum as the other option, there's no reason to sit the No.1 overall selection. Goff is a smart, calculated passer who won't be asked to carry the weight of the offense anyway. At least as a rookie, he will be a supplementary piece to Todd Gurley's offense. Worrying about Goff not being able to handle the workload or the pressure is wasted energy considering he won't be the first, or even second, priority for opposing defenses. I don't think Goff will play like a superstar out of the gate, but he's a smart young player who will be asked to be little more than a distributor. He can handle that.

Misone Adiasor - 10

I have him pegged at 10 games. Case will begin the year as the starter as he will have a really good and efficient preseason, allowing the Rams to play ball control offense. The extra time on the bench will allow Goff more time to master the playbook, after an up and down camp and preseason. Goff will ultimately take the starting role after a few weeks of solid practice and two back to back games of struggles from Case after about six games.

Josh Webb - 13

I think that Jared Goff will start around 13 games. I don't think he will be ready to start the season, but I do think he will surpass Case Keenum by the third or fourth game. Jeff Fisher has always been solid about taking care of his players and Goff will be be the beneficiary of a little overprotection to ensure he has the ability to have a productive career for the club by getting eased into the situation and not rushed to his own detriment.

Joe McAtee - 16

So I'm gonna go with 16 and assume Goff's healthy all year.

Everyone's pointing to Goff's readiness being the issue of when he starts, but I think the bigger issue is going to be fan dissatisfaction with Case Keenum (or more specifically, misplaced dissatisfaction with Keenum).

In his five starts last year, Keenum averaged just 165.6 yards per game. That's all of 41.4 yards per quarter.

That's terrible. For reference, the QB he replaced, Nick Foles, averaged 186.5 yards per game in his 11 starts, or 46.6 yards per quarter. Also terrible. Why? Because the entire offense was terrible.

So more than Goff "earning" the position, I think the catalyst will be a familiar output on offense at which point Rams fans will begin asking what the Rams really have to lose by putting in Goff. If he's the future of the franchise (and it's very hard to argue he's not), what do we really have to lose by getting him game experience in Week 1? Are Fisher and Co. really going to stand by those awesome performances we got out of Keenum in 2015 with Jared Goff on the sideline? In Baltimore, he threw for 136 yards. Against Detroit, 124. In Seattle...103 yards. In a full NFL game.

That might not draw fan ire when you can squeak some sloppy wins out and your only other option is Nick Foles. But let Case Keenum throw for 40ish yards in a quarter in the preseason as the starter ahead of Jared Goff.

It'll be untenable.

Brandon Bate - 13

Whether wrong or right, I’m buying what Jeff Fisher is selling when he says that Case Keenum is the starter. I believe him when he says things like "Case is an incomplete pass and a field goal away from potentially being 5-0 as a starter."

Part of me expects this moment to arrive when Fisher flips the script and names Jared Goff the starter. The problem, for me, is that I don’t see that moment coming until the heat from a few post-game pressers sets in. A sluggish start to the season, with the No. 1 overall pick watching from the sidelines, should prove to be the recipe to have Goff getting his first start. Unfortunately for him, it’ll come in the way of a road game against a very tough Arizona Cardinals team.

And, maybe it’s just me, but can’t you already hear Fisher saying -- along with "we’ll get that fixed" -- "We thought Case gave us the best chance to win" a time or two early in 2016?