Quarterback Jared Goff put together a strong third professional season, completing 65 percent of his passes for 4,688 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions — enough to earn him a spot in the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive season.
Last week, Goff sat down with therams.com to discuss how he approached the season, how the team holds itself accountable, and how he anticipates the atmosphere will be at the Coliseum on Saturday night.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
therams.com: If you had to pick one word to describe the playoffs, what would it be and why?
Jared Goff: I think opportunity. It’s an opportunity to be at your best when your best is required. And an opportunity to win a championship.
therams.com: You mentioned understanding the opportunity in the playoffs after the Week 17 win over San Francisco. What did you gain from the playoff experience last year?
Goff: I think you just understand how hard it is to get to the playoffs. You try to appreciate that and try to know that we’ve secured this first-round bye and will be in the final eight, but how rare that is. And try to take full advantage of the opportunity.
therams.com: The team’s success in 2017 may have come as a surprise to many, but that wasn’t going to be the case in 2018. How do you feel like you either had to or didn’t have to shift your mindset given what the expectations were this year?
Goff: Yeah, I think when we made all these acquisitions, and coming off making the playoffs last year, winning some games — this offseason there was a lot of hype, and rightfully so. But I think we understood that it wasn’t going to change anything in the way we approached anything. It wasn’t going to change how we went about our daily business or how we practiced or anything. It was just going to change, I believe, the standard that we (???) things at. And the level of intensity we do things at. And just daily, how much more focused and detailed we were.
therams.com: Where do you feel like the offense has grown the most over the course of the season?
Goff: I think it’s just overall ownership by everybody. At my position I try to own it as best I can. But I think seeing the receivers and the running backs and up front owning it as it is their own and really understanding every in and out of it, and understanding why we’re doing things has really taken us to the next level.
therams.com: After that bye week, the team wasn’t playing its best football and lost to Chicago and Philadelphia. How do you feel like you personally and then he team dealt with that adversity?
Goff: Yeah, if that’s the biggest adversity we’ve dealt with in the last two years, it’s OK. Two losses in a row, and we were lucky to come out of it on the other side. And I know it seemed like a big deal to many, but we felt pretty comfortable in here.
therams.com: What do you anticipate the scene will be like at the Coliseum for the divisional game?
Goff: It’s going to be fun, man. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see just the city of L.A. come out. And we had a couple games this year where you could kind of experience that same feel — the Chiefs game, that night game, Monday Night, having that feel of the whole city coming together. And I’m excited for it.