Los Angeles Rams’ QB Jared Goff had a pretty rough go of it in his first season in the NFL. He wasn’t deemed fit - by Jeff Fisher & Co. - to start until Week 12, and even when he got his shot, the rookie signal-caller struggled — finishing the season with more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (5), and an abysmal 63.6 QB rating.
A combination of a poor offensive scheme and - more often than not - a supporting cast to match, left Goff looking overwhelmed at times. The offensive line certainly did him no favors, as he consistently found himself with minimal time to go through progressions or find open receivers.
While it’s fair to say the blame cannot be placed squarely on his shoulders, Goff has also been known to lock onto his receivers. In doing so, he increases the chance of forcing throws and, ultimately, causing turnovers.
So who, exactly, is the onus on for Goff’s seven interceptions in his six starts in 2016? Can the INT’s be attributed to poor decision-making, or the ball simply taking a bad bounce?
Let’s take a closer look at each, and you be the judge...
Week 12 at New Orleans (11:38 mark of Q3)
Result: Bad Pass. Goff forces this one. It’s 2nd and 10, and Brian Quick, who’s wide open on the quick out, could’ve set the Rams up for a 3rd and manageable.
Week 13 at New England (0:07 mark of Q1)
Result: Bad Bounce. Odds are the Rams come up a yard or two short of a first down (go figure), but Lance Kendricks should haul this one in. But, as Jeff Fisher stated, the sun was probably in his eyes.
Week 13 at New England (5:08 mark of Q3)
Result: Bad Bounce. You’d like to think that Lance Kendricks and Rob Havenstein could handle blocking duties on Jabaal Sheard. You’d be wrong. Goff gets hit in the wrist while making the throw, and the result is a Kyle Van Noy interception.
Week 14 vs. Atlanta (10:24 mark of Q1)
Result: Bad Bounce. Whether or not the ball placement is perfect (and there’s very little to indicate it wasn’t) is a moot point. Kenny Britt needs to hold onto this one.
Week 14 vs. Atlanta (9:04 mark of Q2)
Result: Bad Pass. Every one of the (four) Falcons’ linebackers drops into coverage. Now is not the time to force an intermediate throw to an already covered receiver. Poor decision-making cost the Rams six points, and a larger deficit, on this play.
Week 16 vs. San Francisco (9:50 mark of Q1)
Result: Bad Pass. There’s way more white and gold in the area than blue and yellow. At least he hustled to make the tackle.
Week 16 vs. San Francisco (0:21 mark of Q4)
There are 20 seconds left in the 2016 NFL season...you’re playing one of the worst teams in the NFL at home...and you’ve got an opportunity to lead your team to victory. Talk about a bad throw...
Also, Brian Quick is doing him no favors here.
It appears, more often than not, that Goff is forcing throws, which, in turn, are resulting in turnovers. That said, it’s fair to assume that Goff has the same mindset we do...that the offensive line is going to break down, forcing him to hit the panic button far sooner than he’d like.
Regardless, we shouldn’t expect any of these tendencies to change in 2017 unless the Rams prioritize fixing the offensive line. And I trust that Rams’ fans already understand the implications of what can happen to a quarterback drafted No. 1 overall when he spends the early stages of his career running for his life...