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Jared Goff's strong finish a good sign for 2020

By any objective measure, 2019 was the least productive of the three seasons Jared Goff has played for Sean McVay.

And just about everyone associated with the Rams – from the coaches and staff, to the media who cover the team, to QB1 himself – spent a decent percentage of last year trying to sort through why that was the case.

So, we won't delve too deeply into it again here.

It was disappointing to be the only winning NFL team not to make the playoffs, but now that some time has passed, it might be worth extracting some optimism from the way Goff performed in December.

These were his metrics in the Rams final five games of 2019:

7.8 AY/A (adjusted yards gained per passing attempt)

5.1 TD%

1.9 INT%

98.2 Rating

Compare those categories to what he did in his Pro Bowl seasons of 2017-18:

8.5 AY/A

5.8 TD%

1.8 INT%

100.8 Rating

Hardly a dire discrepancy.

In fact, from Weeks 12-17, Goff ranked eighth in the NFL in AY/A, comfortably ahead of peers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Deshaun Watson, just to name a few.

It's also worth noting that after fumbles plagued Goff and the Rams for the better part of the season, he only put one on the ground after the trip to Pittsburgh in Week 10 (thankfully, it was recovered by L.A.), and he did not fumble at all during this December turnaround.

So it seems that Goff and McVay and last year's coaching staff deserve credit for identifying and addressing the myriad reasons why the Rams quarterback play was not up to par for a good portion of 2019.

And even though I said we wouldn't go down this road, at least one remedy was readily apparent, even to us laymen.

Offensive linemen who made at least one start from Weeks 1-11: Nine, including six who were making their first or second NFL start.

Offensive linemen who made at least one start from Weeks 12-17: Just five.

Indeed, during that December uptick, Goff had the same starting line in front of him each time out. That's not to say that the combination of Andrew Whitworth, Austin Corbett, Austin Blythe, David Edwards, and Bobby Evans is the final answer and must return intact for Week One in 2020.

Rather, it's only to point out that the health and stability of that group gave McVay and Goff a foundation to build on, and they did so successfully.

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