The numbers are not good.
Just 387 yards passing. Five interceptions. Two fumbles. One touchdown.
Quarterback Jared Goff knows he hasn’t played up to the standard he’s set over the course of the last two years in Los Angeles’ last two games. He said as much in the immediate aftermath of last Sunday’s loss to the Bears.
He did, however, put a somewhat positive spin on things in that postgame press conference.
“I don’t think this will be the last time that I have a bad game and I don’t think it’ll be the last time that I have two bad games in a row if I play as long as I want to,” Goff said Sunday night.
And that’s true — if Goff has the kind of career one envisions for a No. 1 overall pick, he likely will have plenty of ups and downs as a professional. And on the whole he’s played quite well in 2018, completing 64.4 percent of his passes for a career high 3,934 yards with 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His yards per attempt are up from 8.0 last year to 8.6 this year. His yards per completion are up from 12.9 last year to 13.3 this year, too. As is his overall passer rating, going from 100.5 to 101.2.
But he seemed pretty aware that after the last two games, his level of play has to rise — even considering the fact that the Rams have moved on from last week’s loss to this week’s preparation for Philadelphia.
“They did a good job defensively and were able to stop us in different ways,” Goff said Wednesday. “Again, we looked at the film, we watched it and we're moving on and feel good about it. A lot of things could be a lot worse than 11-2 going with three more weeks in the season.”
That’s true, too. But is there something specific Goff can point to that must be improved in these last three weeks of the regular season?
“I need to take care of the ball better, yeah. Personally,” he said.
And, yes, from the opening of this article you probably know he’s right about that.
Nevertheless, head coach Sean McVay has continued to say this week that he has to do a better job of putting Goff in better spots for him to excel. And while McVay was asked about Goff’s last two games, he noted that the Rams’ staff really looks more at the entire body of work than just isolating the bad.
“I think he’s done w really nice job this year,” McVay said. “I think anytime that you get some pressure, it's always a little bit more difficult to operate. When you got it clean and you got the ability to be able to progress, see the coverage, different things like that [it leads to more success]. It's always difficult to navigate when you're playing against some good defenses where they are able to apply pressure. But our production offensively is a reflection of the entire unit and then also us as coaches.
“The number one thing is, that's where – last week was a great humbling day, certainly for me like I mentioned, and you get a chance to really look at yourself and you don't have any time to feel bad about it,” McVay continued. “[Goff] made a couple throws too with some people in his face that were pretty impressive the other night. He'll be the first to tell you he's got to take good care of the football and we can't make some decisions. But I think I also got to stop putting our players in some spots that aren't really conducive for finding a way of having success on those given plays.”
McVay also praised Goff’s unflinching attitude this week, as it’s been a significant factor in Los Angeles’ offensive success over the last two seasons.
“The best part about Jared is he does a great job learning from it, he doesn't let it affect his ability to move forward,” McVay said. “I thought his demeanor throughout the course of the game, as frustrating as the other night was, was exactly what we love about him. Even keeled, wasn't flustered at all, but he knows that he can play better, and everybody can do a little bit better. And we feel like if we do that as a group, it will lead to the results that we've gotten more times than not this year.”
That seems to be the prevailing sentiment from Goff’s teammates as well, who expect the third-year QB to bounce back in the coming weeks.
“He’s still young. That’s what it is.” left guard Rodger Saffold said. “But his resilience, and the way that he’s been able to continue fighting through adversity just shows you that he’s going to be able to come out of it in a big way.”
“That’s Jared, he’s going to work himself out,” wide receiver Robert Woods said. "But for me, [I] tell him — just keep firing, keep being confident, keep staying poised in the pocket and keep those eyes downfield.”