If this is Jared Goff now, the Seattle Seahawks may need to focus all of their attention on the San Francisco 49ers. And while we can place a lot of attention on Greg Zuerlein missing a 44-yard field goal to help Seattle move to 4-1, a game ahead of the now 3-2 LA Rams, I’m sure Sean McVay and Goff will be focusing on scoring 29 points and missing early game opportunities to put the Seahawks away early.
Because this is now habit for them.
Goff’s 2019 numbers following Thursday’s loss: 63% completions (Russell Wilson is at an NFL-best 74%, which is also embarking on “all-time record” territory), 1,649 yards, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions, 7.4 yards per attempt, four fumbles, and no rushing ability. A season after nearly winning MVP, Goff has a passer rating of 83, which will place him in the depths alongside players like Andy Dalton, Kyler Murray, and Mitchell Trubisky.
People thought I was joking or exaggerating when I said that Goff was bad. But I wasn’t and I’m not. He’s bad in the sense that if defenses have figured out how to stop Sean McVay’s offense from scoring 30 points, it’s from stopping Goff, who has no response to put him back in 100-rating territory. LA scored at least 33 points in their first five games of 2018, but they’ve only scored over 30 once through the first five games of 2019.
They scored 33+ in nine of their first 11 games in 2018, but in the 13 games since their 54-41 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, they’ve scored 33+ just twice. Those 13 games probably non-coincidentally line up with Goff proving to be one of the NFL’s least valuable quarterbacks in that timespan.
Jared Goff's last 13 games, including playoffs:— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) October 4, 2019
305-508, 60% completions, 3,502 yards, 6.9 Y/A, 14 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 12 fumbles, 77.72 passer rating
We're getting closer to a full season's worth of him being this bad.
This does not absolve or ignore the contributions or lack thereof from Todd Gurley, the supposed “better” MVP candidate in 2017-2018 for many people. And agree or disagree, there’s no doubt that Los Angeles’ offensive downfall does also line up with Gurley’s knee injury and subsequent mini-disappearance from the offense.
Over Gurley’s last 10 games, including playoffs, he has 117 carries, 506 yards, 31 catches on 46 targets, 179 receiving yards, seven touchdowns (all on the ground), and last night’s fumble. That’s 4.3 yards per carry, but virtually all of that production came in a 30-22 divisional playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys, which is Gurley’s only 100-yard effort in those 10 contests. And his efforts in the passing game are virtually nonexistent.
He caught 10 of 13 passes for 76 yards in his last regular season game of 2018, but he’s been targeted this many times in the other nine contests: 11, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1.
Gurley is under 10 receiving yards in seven of his last eight games. The last time he was under 10 receiving yards prior to that streak was October 15, 2017, a string of 23 games.
All of this coincides with the Rams being a deserving 3-2 team, a team that is just 7-5 in their last 12 contests after an 11-1 start in the 12 games before that. We have to ask ourselves what is more expected of LA moving forward: the McVay team that won the division title in each of his first two seasons, or the one that can’t do the one thing this team kinda needs it to do, which is score over 30 points a game.
And then as we saw on Sunday when they put up 40 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they can still lose thanks to Goff’s errors and a defense that can be good, not great.
Is this the end of the Rams? Probably not. They did start 3-0 and win road games over the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns, and doing something that the Seahawks couldn’t do, which is beat the New Orleans Saints at home. Different circumstances and all that, but LA still has Aaron Donald, among many other talented players. Their next game is at home vs the 3-0 San Francisco 49ers, a potential win to put them right back into the NFC West contest, followed by games against the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Rams could still be 6-2 going into their bye week, regardless of how Goff and Gurley have done in the last year. However, if Goff and Gurley aren’t better than what they’ve been during these stretch runs, 6-2 seems difficult. Seattle is built to win when they score 30. The Rams are not build to win when they can’t.
Right now we’re seeing that whether it’s a missed field goal or not needing to kick field goals at all, the Rams can’t.