Quarterback Jared Goff's year-over-year improvement has been well documented on this and plenty of other media platforms. The second-year signal-caller's numbers speak for themselves in that he's thrown for 3,503 yards with 24 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, leading Los Angeles to a 10-4 record.
With just one more touchdown pass, Goff will become the Rams' first quarterback since 2001 to throw for at least 25 TDs.
Goff will likely be headed to the Pro Bowl for his strong 2017 turnaround. Though he's a first-alternate, quarterback Carson Wentz's season-ending injury will likely land Goff in Orlando.
"It's a huge honor and something that I was very honored to see last night," Goff said Wednesday, adding that he sees it as a team award. "You look around the league at the top amount of guys teams have, and most amount of teams that have all the guys in the Pro Bowl are better teams. Most of the time it is a reflection of the team and that's no different with my selection there."
Though making the Pro Bowl is a significant honor, Goff said it's not really something he ever thought much about heading into the 2017 season. His goals were more team oriented than receiving this particular individual accolade.
"It wasn't ever a thought, really. I just wanted to try and get better every day and focus on every week, trying to improve and let everything fall where it may at the end of year," Goff said. "It's something I'm very honored by, but not necessarily something I'm going to hang my hat on. There's a lot bigger things I want to do as a team and personally."
Head coach Sean McVay has clearly been critical in Goff's second-year development, and once agains said Wednesday that he feels Goff has continued to "take great command, great leadership, kind of have a total understanding and be that extension of the coaching staff and I think that's definitely what he's become.
"I couldn't be more impressed with just the way that Jared consistently carries himself throughout the week and the way that he handles the games, because I think you have a tendency — especially when there's so much pressure on that position — to kind of ride the wave. And, inevitably, there is going to be some adversity that you face," McVay continued. "He's just so even-keeled and I think that demeanor rubs off on his teammates. I know for me as a coach, it sure makes you feel very confident in your quarterback and he's unfazed and I think that's going to continue to serve him really well."
Goff said he wasn't quite sure when it really set in — knowing that this year would be significantly better for him and the team. Though he pointed to the Week 1 victory over the Colts as one potential spot.
"I think this season's gone well and we're happy with where we are. But I don't know what week or what day it felt like it clicked," Goff said. "We just kind of got better through the offseason and came to training camp feeling pretty good and went through the preseason and played pretty well offensively. Came into the season, that first game might be an indicator. We came out and lit it up pretty good offensively. I said, 'OK, we can do this.' I don't know if there's an exact week."
According to wide receiver Sammy Watkins, Goff displayed a lot of leadership in that early part of the season. Of course, Watkins had just been acquired via trade from Buffalo in the early part of training camp, so he didn't have the benefit of learning the offensive system during the offseason program. That's where Goff came in.
"[H]e knows when you're not sure of something. Especially on the field if you've messed up or you're doubting what you have, he can definitely correct you and he knows the ins and outs of the offense," Watkins said. "For two or three weeks straight we were just doing more signals, he was giving me signals. I wasn't too honed in on the offense like everyone else. He kind of helped me catch up on that."
Goff's knowledge of the system and comfort within it not only comes through with his teammates, but also on film. Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said he knows how tough it can be on rookie quarterbacks and that there's clearly been significant growth from Goff this season.
"Obviously what they're doing there is playing to his strengths," Mularkey said. "It helps to have someone who has been around quarterbacks like they do. He's very comfortable in the offense and really, I think what they're doing is there just playing to what he does well and that's important that you do that for all your guys, but for sure your quarterback."
While Goff's play to this point has put the Rams in solid position for a playoff berth, he'll be challenged by a tough defense coordinated by 80-year-old Dick LeBeau. The longtime defensive coordinator for the Steelers, LeBeau is known for his zone blitzing schemes that have a tendency to confuse quarterbacks.
"Just by seeing up to this point in the week, they just do a lot of different stuff. They show a lot of different things and are very multiple defensively," Goff said. "A coach like Dick LeBeau who's been in the league for so long, been around so much football and is a tough guy to go against. No matter what week it is. They will be hungry and so will we."