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Rams-Chargers Film Review: Goff’s growth is evident

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There was a time when Jared Goff couldn’t complete a pass to save his life. Now, his passes give the Rams offense life.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Goff isn’t succeeding because of a system. He’s succeeding because he finally has the atmosphere to allow growth.

Sean McVay’s impact is invaluable to Goff’s development as an NFL quarterback and that was noticeable from the very beginning of the 2017 season. There were even some whispers during last season’s training camp that Goff was looking better than his rookie year.

We’re three games into 2018, and Goff is showing us the growth hasn’t stopped yet.

This was from last week’s game against the Cardinals. On this play, Goff faces immediate pressure from the Cardinals defense and manages to escape the rush and extend the play. Unfortunately it ended in a turnover. But prior to this game, I’ve never seen Goff evade the pressure like that before. The defensive back came right off the edge and was in Goff’s face just as soon as he had the ball in his hands.

He just took control of a bad situation and tried to make it better. It didn’t work out that way, but I felt this was a promising development.

Now, compare last week’s play to Sunday’s. Goff feels the pressure and maneuvers his way through the collapsing pocket and then makes the on-target throw with his feet barely on the ground. It was clutch. It was accurate. It was a damn good play.

I cannot tell if Goff saw Cooper Kupp ahead of the linebackers. But what Goff did see was the linebackers retreating into pass-coverage, which allowed a massive gap in the defense. What makes this play even better is Goff fakes a deep throw for a split second before taking off, which fools the outside linebacker to his right. The linebacker braces for the pass and then is stuck in his shoes when Goff takes off for a 16-yard gain.

Goff also flexed his accuracy in this game against the Chargers. The touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp and this pass to Tyler Higbee are just two examples.

Higbee was well covered by the defender, yet Goff puts the ball where only Higbee can get it. Goff’s first touchdown throw was an accurate short pass to heavily-defended Robert Woods.

And speaking of Robert Woods.

That’s a system throw, baby.

Goff isn’t perfect—his end-zone interception can speak to that. But he’s on a steady incline regarding his quarterback play. He’s making better decisions. He’s checking down and knowing when to be conservative and when to take a risk.

He’s now able to combine his physical talent with his football IQ, and it’s paying dividends for the 3-0 Rams.