On August 4, with just over a week before the Los Angeles Rams took the field for their very first preseason game of 2016, the Turf Show Times staff provided their best guess as to how many games rookie quarterback Jared Goff would start in 2016.
Answers ranged from nine games to a full 16-game slate, but a lot has changed in a month... The optimism surrounding the prospect of Goff trotting onto the field on Monday night is now non-existent. To make matters worse, Jeff Fisher told the media that not only was Goff not the starter, but that he wasn’t even the team’s backup at this point.
But just how many starts might a sloppy preseason have cost the 2016 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick? According to recent odds we just received from Bovada, the current over/under (as of today) for total starts for Goff is 12.5.
Let’s see what the TST staff thinks...
RamBuck (@lannyosu) - 9 Starts
I still think that he starts 9 games this year. I think they roll with Case until the bye, and then make the switch. Why? If the Rams are struggling, say 2-5, it offers fresh hope for the offense. If the Rams are doing well, say 4-3, it allows Goff to prove that he can build upon what Case has started.
And traditionally that seems to be the best time for coaching staffs to evaluate the position groups, and make those changes. Goff would get a full week of reps with the 1's during the bye, and see how he does.
BMule (@_BMule) - 7 Starts
From what I've seen from Jared Goff in the preseason combined with what we know about the Rams offensive coaching staff, I don't see any way possible Goff starts 13 games as previously predicted. Somewhere around 7 games seems more likely after the Rams get through London and two tough defense's in Carolina and New York. He's looked so overwhelmingly uncomfortable there really *is* no reason to throw him into the fire now, though, how else is he supposed to get game ready? It's been tough development to watch but 7 games could be the sweet spot come week 11 vs Miami.
QBKlass (@QBKlass) - 6 Starts
Originally, I thought Jared Goff would and should (based on what the Rams traded to get him) start all 16 games this season. That is far from the case after the preseason. Goff isn't close to ready, even though a player of his perceived caliber should be. Goff's game is predicated on beating teams before the snap and getting the ball out before pressure gets to him. He's not yet mastered the Rams offense, though, so Goff has little value until he does. Goff needs at least half the season to figure himself out and dig deeper into the playbook. The Rams are probably best off stashing Goff until the last five or so games of the season and letting him finish off the year. I'll say that Goff starts six games.
Douglas M (@thenovelroad) - 3 Starts
Jared Goff will start 3 games this season. They'll be the last three games of the year, against all NFC West opponents... Ouch, right? Made worse by the fact I think the Rams will be in the hunt for a wild card post season berth, the pressure on young Goff will be off the charts... He finishes the regular season with 4 TD passes, and 4 INTs. Hey, growing into a franchise quarterback has to start somewhere, eh?
EddieP (@iAmEddieP_) - 9 Starts
Goff will end up starting after the Rams Week 8 Bye. The Rams will have only mustered 2-3 wins at that mark. At this point, the LA-casual crowds will have lost interest in Fisherball.
In an attempt to ignite a "spark" under the offense, Coach Fish et al will name Goff the starting QB for Week 9 versus the Carolina Panthers. Oh, and don't expect Goff to win that one.
Elijah Kim (@TST_Eli) - 7 Starts
Initial Prediction: 16 Current Prediction: 7
What a whirlwind a preseason can have on an opinion. Much to the dismay of the Rams, Rams fans, and myself, it seems as though Goff is clearly not ready to be the starter for the team that is "a QB away". My logic in thinking Goff would start 16 games was simple, pretty much everyone else before him selected number one overall did it. Much to say, it’s painful to see how the Rams gave up so much draft capital to select "their guy" to be most likely to be inactive for the first few games.
Goff will likely start some games for the Rams this year to gain the valuable experience needed to be a growing quarterback in the league. However, it’ll likely come after the Rams are hopelessly out of the NFC West race.
Eric Nagel (@Eric_nagel) - No Starts
0. In all honesty, Goff did not look good in the preseason. He flashed some talent, but he looks uncomfortable and flustered. The Rams really don't need a QB to win, and I don't think throwing Goff out with the garbage receivers the Rams have will do him any favors. I think the Rams roll with Keenum until he's hurt, or playing so poorly they have to make a change. Otherwise, there won't be.
misone (@MightyOrMisone) - 6 Starts
I got Goff at 6 games. And this would be solely due to injury, or a crap record with playoffs out of site. I don't think he's anywhere close to leap frogging either Case Keenum or Sean Mannion. However, Fisher and company do want to get him on the field. I'd say the second he learns "enough" of the playbook we'll start to see his ascension up the depth chart. But if we are 10 games into the season and Keenum or Mannion has the team rolling, it's highly likely that he sits the whole yr. It'd be wise to keep all three guys active no matter what. This way if you have a game where it's a blowout on either end, you can throw him in there the last four to five min.
3k (@3k_) - 12 starts
I made the case last time that Goff's starting was less about Goff and more about Keenum. I still believe that, though Case's preseason performances perhaps weren't abysmal enough to get him pulled.
I think that's likely headed toward a reversal.
The Rams have three of their first four games on the road; the lone home game is against the Seattle Seahawks. If the Rams come back from their two-game road stint heading toward Week 5 on the back of some dismal offensive performances, what will be holding Jared Goff back? Keenum supporters point to the late season 3-1 run he helped lead the Rams on. They conveniently point right past Keenum's individual output of 165.6 yards per game and less than a touchdown per...
If Keenum puts out something close to the same numbers from the starting QB gig (a fair assumption, given that the entire starting offense for Week 1 will likely be constructed of players returning from the NFL's 32nd-ranked offense in yards gained including Keenum), it's going to be hard for the Rams to replicate that 3-1 mark in their first four games regardless of the opponents. When you consider the quality the Rams will face in those first four contests, it's fair to prepare for something less than a winning record to go with those pedestrian numbers.
How Fisher and the Rams would ignore the first swell of Los Angeles-based opprobrium is beyond me. I'd think he, and the franchise as a whole, would be under too much pressure to not let Goff start in the return contest in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills. At that point, there's little to gain from switching back in 2016, regardless of how Goff performs and how the Rams fare there
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_) - 12 Starts
I originally had Goff pegged at 13 games. I’m going to alter my prediction, but only slightly, taking the under on Bovada’s line and saying 12 games. Thing is, I don’t think it has as much to do with Goff being ready, as it does the Rams potentially starting off slow and Fisher and Co. feeling pressured to throw the rookie into the fire. Case Keenum starts the first four games, and following a road loss the Arizona Cardinals, Jared Goff gets the start against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5.
We saw what we saw in the preseason, and despite it all, Jared Goff, somehow, will miraculously be much-improved and game-ready in a month’s time. Or at least that’s what we’ll be told.
seattlerams (@seattlerams) - 6 Starts
Jeff Fisher finds himself in the position of having to develop a young QB while not sending the message to his veteran defense that they are in a rebuilding year. Case Keenum will start until the Rams are so far out of the playoff picture that he will be able to turn to Jared Goff without the worry of losing the locker room. By week 12 and the New Orleans Saints comes around, everyone on the team (except Larmarcus Joyner) will be talking about girls, cars, and money, and Jared will get the nod.
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch) - 5(ish) Starts
I was a fool for thinking Fisher would start Goff week 1. Unless Case Keenum goes the way of Shaun Hill circa 2014, I don't foresee Goff starting more than a handful of meaningless games once the Rams are too far removed from postseason contention.