2017 Grade: .455
2017 3rd Down: .391
Week 1 vs. Indianapolis: This was the first game of Jared Goff’s professional career where he looked competent. Don’t get too excited just yet, there is a long way to go. While Sean McVay drew up a wonderful plan to attack soft-spots in the Colts very shaky zone defense, Goff still had a variety of misses and bad decisions. The three GIFs below are a microcosm of his game. The good play, he shows great mechanics under pressure and drops a dime to Gerald Everett. Another one, he inexcusably throws the ball several yards short, and on the next, he misses a wide open touchdown, down the middle of the field, in favor of a check down.
Week 2 vs. Washington: Goff came crashing back to earth after his impressive season debut. His last two passes (interception to end it, and missed open touchdown to give his team the lead) were all too familiar to his woes from a year ago. He had one impressive throw down the seam, between the corner and safety. He got the ball out quickly in the face of pressure, but the Rams couldn’t overcome his poor decision making.
Week 3 at San Francisco: It’s time for this analyst to eat some crow. I have done nothing but criticize Goff since before the Rams drafted him but, in this game, he was sensational. Money on third down, big-time, downfield throws, good mechanics in and out of the pocket, nothing negative to say in this game whatsoever.
Week 4 at Dallas: Sean McVay has done a brilliant job of assembling a cast of players to execute his scheme. Credit Jared Goff for being the point guard of this high-octane offense. He’s seeing the rush extremely well, he needs every bit of his big arm for some of the throws he’s asked to make, and he has been very accurate. The knock in this game was a couple of missed downfield reads.
Week 5 vs. Seattle: I can’t remember a game where I gave out this many 0-point-plays (throwing into traffic, typically the culprit.) Jared Goff has come much further than I ever thought he would in terms of confidence, poise and processing the defense. This showed through three quarters as the Rams’ receivers struggled to separate, but Goff kept them in the game. Then, at the end, he crumbled with three fourth-quarter turnovers. The interceptions were his fault; the fumble was a blind-side shot.
Week 6 at Jacksonville: Few successful quarterbacks throw a fluttering pass like the one that consistently leaves Jared Goff’s hand. That, and his unwillingness to stand tall in the pocket remain concerns, but he is so far advanced from where he was a year ago. His accuracy and pre-snap command have come a long way. He struggled against a good defense to make big plays – but he didn’t make big mistakes, and that’s a great sign.