Two days later, the loss is still fresh.
“I think [I’m] still processing, for sure,” quarterback Jared Goff said of the Rams’ falling to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. “I think yesterday was hard and today’s been a little bit easier. And as time goes on, I’m sure it’ll get easier.
“But this definitely stings. And it’s hard. And you can’t really ever get over it maybe?” Goff asked, rhetorically — knowing he’d never been in the situation before. “It’ll be tough.”
Quarterback Jared Goff stood at the podium in Thousand Oaks as the Rams cleaned out their lockers for the final time in the 2018 season. It’s a bitter end for what was a great season by any measure.
And at least for now, that is what’s sticking with the 24-year-old quarterback as he prepares for a break from football.
“Honestly, it was a lot of missed opportunities — a game where I wish I would’ve played better,” Goff said.
Goff said he did watch the film of the loss to New England on Tuesday morning. And while there wasn’t necessarily one aspect that stood out to him that differed from what he experienced on Sunday, there does appear to be one thing that he just can’t get out of his mind.
“The part that makes me the most sick about it is our defense played so well,” Goff said. “And [if] you say, our defense is going to be in the Super Bowl and your defense is going to hold the New England Patriots to 13 points and you guys aren’t going to win, it’s like — how?”
“And that’s the part that you kind of keep replaying in your mind, is how that can even happen?” Goff continued. “And it’s a testament to their team and how good they are defensively, and how well of a job they did. And it’s something, again, that we’ll learn from. Something that will sting for now, but we’ll learn from, move forward. And I know myself and the leaders on this team will use it as motivation — something that we can build from.”
And as Goff said, that’s just part of New England’s identity — it’s what has made them good enough to win six Super Bowls in the last 17 years under head coach Bill Belichick. Goff said the Patriots did change some of what they did on defense, but it was still things they’d done all year. The quarterback added the Patriots emulated some of what the Bears did from the Rams’ Week 14 loss in Chicago.
Check out the best photos from the Los Angeles Rams matchup against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
“They played different than what they shown on film, but at the same time they did stuff that they did show on film,” Goff said. “But like I said after the game — that’s every game. That’s what makes them so good is that they’re able to be so different every game and still be executing at a high level. And for us, we weren’t able to adjust quickly enough. And, again, they did a good job.”
Now the attention will turn to 2019 and how the Rams can get back to the biggest stage — but then finish the job. Goff said that even though he didn’t feel like the game was too big, there are little things he’d like to improve the next time around.
But ending the season the way L.A. did can also serve to fuel Goff and the rest of the club.
“[I]t will be definitely something that will motivate us, and something that we will use. And it’s hard saying this when we know, had we had won, right now we’d probably be in a parade, and how fun that would be, how many different things that go along with winning a Super Bowl. So it’s hard to put that into perspective, but there’s a lot of good things that came out of this season.”
With the team making those significant strides from the end of the 2016 season to now, there’s no reason to believe the Rams won’t build on their experience to be in position to compete for a championship once again in 2019.
And when the opportunity arises once again to play for a world title, Goff said he’ll be ready.
“I wish I would’ve done my part better,” Goff said, “and I can promise next time — if we get that opportunity — I will.”