When quarterback Jared Goff let go of his 67-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sammy Watkins on Sunday, he initially thought he may have overthrown his wide receiver.
"Right when I threw it I was like, 'Aw that might be too much,'" Goff said Sunday. "But saw him tracking, and saw the catch he made, and obviously [was] happy about it."
Of course, we all know he didn't, as Watkins used his speed to reel in the throw. But what Goff didn't realize at the time is that pass is probably the longest he's ever thrown.
"I was thinking about that. I think it was the longest I've thrown in a game in my life, in the air," Goff said. "I can think of maybe a couple in high school and college, but, yeah, that was one of them."
At the very least, it's the longest pass he's completed this season. We know that because it's the longest pass in terms of air distance completed by anyone in 2017 according to NFL next gen stats at 61.8 yards.
That pass, along with 13 others, earned Goff his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award. The young signal-caller finished 14-of-22 passing for a career high 311 yards and a career high four touchdowns — good for a 146.8 passer rating.
Goff is the fifth Ram to win an NFC Player of the Week award in 2017, joining running back Todd Gurley, kicker Greg Zuerlein, cornerback Trumaine Johnson, and kick returner Pharoh Cooper. And like his teammates, Goff credited those around him for how he was able to excel on Sunday.
"Obviously extremely honored," Goff said. "We talk about it all the time, though — anytime these individual awards [come], most of the time [it] has to do with your team and this one for sure does. I didn't get hit all day and that's a testament to the O-line. We threw a bunch of screens for a bunch of yards. It's not me doing the work — it's those guys. But it's a big honor and I'm very honored to be named that for sure."
"Very proud. Very happy for Jared. I think it's well deserved. I think that he continues to grow and that's demonstrated by a variety of things in that game," head coach Sean McVay said. "I think there's plays that start to demonstrate week-in and week-out why he's making steps in the right direction, he's very coachable and we're very happy for Jared."
One aspect of Goff's play from Sunday's game that's reflected in the stats is the quarterback's efficiency. He ended the day at 14.1 yards per attempt and 22.2 yards per attempt — numbers that propelled him to the top of the league in both categories on the season. Goff connected with five receivers who had a reception of at least 35 yards. Some of those were deep passes — like Watkins' 67-yard reception, and tight end Gerald Everett's 44-yard catch. Cooper Kupp's 35-yard catch came on an intermediate catch-and-run.
Running back Todd Gurley's 44-yard reception came on a screen pass that put L.A. inside the five-yard line. And wideout Robert Woods' 52-yard touchdown also came on a quick screen.
These different types of plays display the versatility of the Rams' offense, which has the ability to gain yards and score touchdowns in a number of different ways.
Check out photos from the Los Angeles Rams practice as the team prepares to take on the Houston Texans.
"I think any time you go out and you execute the game plan [you'll score points]," Goff said. "And, like I've said a million times, we have good players on offense, and on defense, and on special teams. But offensively, we have good players. We have guys that care about each other and right now we've done a good job of meshing and playing well."
With the players executing McVay's scheme as well as they have, the Rams are now No. 1 scoring (32.9 points per game) and point differential (+108). Goff said it's not hard to stay away from buying into the hype, and continuing to take things one day at a time as they have throughout the year.
"I don't think it's hard. No, I don't think so. I think in this league, it's so week-to-week. You're good one week and then you're bad another week. We were the worst team ever last year and now everyone loves us. So no, it doesn't make any difference to us. We're 6-2 at the halfway point and happy about a lot of things we've done so far, but a lot of work to do. Eight games ahead of us, starting with the Houston Texans this weekend.
And Houston will pose another challenge. Though its defense has players missing from injury (like defensive lineman J.J. Watt, outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus) and suspension (like linebacker Brian Cushing), it still has a dominant force in outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.
"They're very talented, very talented," Goff said of the Texans. "I think the first thing that you see is Jadeveon Clowney, is a guy who can wreck the game. A guy who's really extremely talented and we have to be aware of and then across the board, they're very good from linebackers to DBs. They're athletic and they move around really well and make plays on the ball really well. So, we'll be aware of that for sure and look to continue to execute our game plan for sure."