Following a rough first year, we explain why Jared Goff is poised for a better seasonPhoto by Harry How/Getty Images
It’s no secret that Jared Goff had a rough start to his NFL career after being made the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. He began the season as a backup to Case Keenum but was handed the keys to the job in week 9, where he struggled mightily completing only 54.6% of his passes. Goff would throw only 5 touchdowns while throwing 7 interceptions over the final 7 games of the 2016 season. While these stats are clearly not acceptable for the first overall selection, there is silver lining for Goff’s upcoming campaign. Here are the 3 reasons why Jared Goff won’t suck in 2017:
1. Improved Supporting Cast
The Rams Front Office put together a nice offseason of work this spring, as they made it clear that giving Goff weapons was their number one priority. They did just that, by acquiring former Bills WR Robert Woods through free agency, and drafting multiple play makers to pair with him.
Their first pick in the second round was invested in South Alabama TE Gerald Everett, who has the speed to stretch the field vertically and also contribute in the flats. Los Angeles invested some of their later round picks in a pair of wide receivers who can blow the game wide open in Eastern Washington’s WR Cooper Kupp and Texas A&M’s WR Josh Reynolds. Kupp is one rookie to watch closely this fall, because he is revered as the best receiver in D1 FCS history.
The offensive line also saw an upgrade in the form of former All-Pro Left Tackle Andrew Whitworth, which will provide a sense of veteran leadership and top notch protection of Goff’s blindside.
2. Reemergence of Todd Gurley II
Jared Goff wasn’t the only LA Ram to have a rough 2016 season, as former rookie pro bowler Todd Gurley II had a sophomore slump season in year 2. This most likely resulted from uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Rams, which makes it much easier for opposing defensive coordinators to figure out where the ball is going.
While the wide receivers and offensive line begin to come into their own and demand attention from defensive coaches, Gurley will be able to run wild like he did as a rookie in 2015. This crutch will take major pressure off of the shoulders of the developing Goff and allow him the opportunity to control his role better. Every quarterback’s best friend is a 1,000+ yard rusher who can take over a game.
3. Wade Phillips’ Defense
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “A defensive coach has nothing to with a quarterback.” And to that I would prompt you to ask Peyton Manning how his final NFL season would have gone in Denver without their All-Time great defense (that just so happened to also be coached by Wade Phillips).
Having a defense that can prevent the other team from scoring gives the offense much more wiggle room. There were moments last season where Goff showed promise, but the defense let up over forty points which masked any progress shown. Wade Phillips is known for being one of the greatest defensive coaches in recent memory, and we could see his defense take a lot of pressure off of Jared Goff.
Seemingly every NFL fan believes Jared Goff is horrible, yet the main stream media hasn’t given any press time to these critical factors in his development. Keep an eye out for the LA Rams in 2017, they could be the surprise of the league this year in a weakening NFC West.