Weeks ago on the Goofballs podcast, I told my co-hosts and our guest that I believed Jared Goff was a bad quarterback. Not a mediocre quarterback. Not an average quarterback. Not an above-average quarterback. And definitely not a good or great quarterback. I said that Goff was a bad quarterback, bottom five, and I bet them that by the end of the 2021 season that the LA Rams would actually be moving on from Goff.
I may have to amend that to the 2020 season. Or sooner.
Keep in mind that this was on September 11, the first week of the 2019 NFL season — and I was ridiculed for my beliefs, or more accurately my disbeliefs, in Jared Goff. I was laughed at, had my football opinions publicly* disparaged, and told that even if Goff may not be in the top five, he was certainly not bad and was probably quite good.
Now who’s laughing? Seahawks fans. And me. I mean, of course it is me. The rest of the world is now seeing it: Jared Goff IS bad.
*It would have been public if that particular episode didn’t have an error when it was completed and lost forever**
**If you happen to be an expert on GarageBand or retrieving files that appear to be completely gone (and aren’t in the folders that you’d be looking in if you did a cursory Google search on this GarageBand problem I had) then please let me know! We’d still love to retrieve this episode.
After reaching the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons — making him one, and probably soon to be two Pro Bowls shy of the career mark for Derek Carr if that helps you contextualize the importance of two Pro Bowls — is sitting right around the bottom five for all quarterbacks in 2019.
Courtesy of the best site on the web, Pro-Football-Reference:
If we consider his “career” to just be the Sean McVay years, then Goff is posting a career-low in completion percentage, touchdown percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating, QBR, and is on pace to throw 16 interceptions.
Out of 34 qualified quarterbacks this season, Goff ranks 30th in completion percentage, 31st in touchdown percentage, 23rd in INT%, t15th in Y/A, 29th in passer rating, and 29th in QBR.
The bottom-five in QBR, which has 33 qualified players at FootballOutsiders instead of the 34 at PFR, is Goff, Andy Dalton, Josh Allen, Mitchell Trubisky, and Marcus Mariota. The only one of those QBs who has not been benched, or in danger of being benched, at some point this season, is Allen. Goff’s QBR is 39.5. Eli Manning’s QBR before he was benched for Daniel Jones — who is also playing better than Goff — was 39.1.
Over his last five games, Allen has thrown seven touchdowns, one interception, and rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also fumbled six times and completed fewer than 60% of his passes, but Allen is a second-year quarterback for the Buffalo Bills and trending in the opposite direction of Goff.
Over Goff’s last five games, he is completing 56%, five touchdowns, three interceptions, a rating of 82.6, and he has no scrambling/rushing ability. The Rams have lost four of their last six games, the Bills have won three of their last five.
Per Pro-Football-Reference’s advanced stats, Goff does lead the NFL in one category at least: Bad throw percentage. Goff has 76 bad throws on 355 attempts, meaning that more than 1 in 5 of his throws are off target.
And eight years into his NFC West career, Russell Wilson continues to be the only great quarterback in his division.
While I remain confident in my prediction that the Rams will choose to replace Goff within the next two years, despite his recent contract extension, and that virtually all of his success from 2017-2018 was due to offensive line play, weapon upgrades, and the short-term success of McVay’s offense — which obviously started to show cracks at the end of last season and into the Super Bowl — the San Francisco 49ers must feel at least a little bit more confident in their quarterback at this point.
But as we saw on Monday night, Jimmy Garoppolo is also not at the level, or even the level below, Wilson.
The first thing that jumps out at his career history is that Garoppolo is likely going to more than double his career pass attempts, as well as career sacks. It will be interesting to see what happens when Garoppolo approaches 400 or 500 attempts for the first time ever, if he does.
Garoppolo is tied for 15th in passer rating with Case Keenum, who is currently quarterbacking the worst offense in the NFL. Maybe one of the worst offenses in NFL history. He is 10th in completion percentage, 12th in touchdown%, 29th in INT% (with several dropped picks vs Seattle), 14th in Y/A, and 12th in QBR.
I’d also give credit to Garoppolo that unlike Goff, he does not have many supporting cast members worth a guest starring role.
Jimmy Garoppolo's had drops on 5.5% of his throws, which ranks 11th in the NFL. QBs who've had it worse include: Watson, Wentz, Dak, Mayfield, Bridgewater (most), J Allen, Trubisky, Mariota, Flacco, and Fitzpatrick. https://t.co/zqr5wMZmQi— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) November 14, 2019
The 49ers are led by tight end George Kittle, who is currently injured and was out for Monday’s game. Rookie Deebo Samuel is second on the team in receiving yards and had a career game vs the Seahawks but is not a great choice for a number one if you can help it. They traded for Emmanuel Sanders, who was hurt against Seattle and could miss some more time. Marquise Goodwin has changed his name to Badloss. Dante Pettis, often highlighted over the 2019 offseason as San Fran’s number one target and a breakout star of this year, is just a broken star it appears.
Top that off with Joe Staley getting abused by Jadeveon Clowney this week and Mike McGlinchey working through his second season in the league, the offensive line could be below where Kyle Shanahan and most of us expected it to be. That being said ...
How many times from 2012-2019 have we had to say that Wilson was playing behind a bad offensive line with only 0-1 good receiving weapons around him? Many times? I’ll say many times.
To quote Kramer: Levels. Levels, Jerry. I’m building levels.
And Wilson is on the top, Garoppolo is a few rungs below that, and Goff is on the bottom. He’s on the bottom. LA’s quarterback, the defending division and conference championship, is bad. He’s very bad. That probably has a lot to do with the Rams having a bad offensive line now, which could circle back to a previous criticism of Wilson, that he could “only” run and that if he couldn’t run, that he wouldn’t be a high quality starter.
Well, Wilson is running less, but still second in the league in scrambles, creating opportunities for himself when his line can’t give him time to breathe in the pocket. Goff, completely immobile, has three scrambles in nine games. He led the NFL in fumbles last season (12) and is on pace for 16 this time around.
That’s 21 fumbles and 21 interceptions in his last 25 games.
In last season’s playoffs, Goff completed 55.7%, 6.7 Y/A, 1 TD, 2 INT, 2 fumbles, and he has a career postseason passer rating of 73.6 on 151 attempts.
I would post Garoppolo’s postseason numbers but he’s still looking to make his 20th career start. Garoppolo has eight interceptions and seven fumbles in nine games this year. He can’t move either, as he has 33 yards on 30 rushing attempts, including just five scrambles.
Overall, you know that the NFC West quarterback rankings have to have Wilson way at the top, and that Garoppolo is well ahead of Goff but still only middle of the pack. And then there’s Kyler Murray.
At this stage, Murray already looks much better than Goff and is competing to surpass Garoppolo.
Murray ranks 21st in completion%, 29th in TD%, t11th in INT%, t19th in Y/A (Murray is tied in both categories with Tom Brady, among others), 23rd in passer rating, and is 14th in QBR. But Murray’s mobility is a strength instead of an issue: he ranks 2nd in rushing DYAR, behind only Lamar Jackson, and he has scrambled 18 times for 8.3 yards per scramble.
(Wilson has 28 scrambles, 8 Y/S)
But Murray’s numbers are trending upwards, not Goffwards.
Over his last six, Murray’s at nearly 65% comp, eight touchdowns, one interception, 7.76 Y/A, a rating of 100.3, and 238 yards on the ground with one touchdown. Arizona had won three in a row, but they’ve since lost three in a row. They next face the 49ers, a team they lost to by just three points on Thursday night a couple weeks ago.
Murray posted a career-high rating of 130.7 that night against the league’s number one pass defense. Garoppolo’s was slightly better, though the Cards are building a case for the NFL’s worst pass defense.
Adding Murray to the mix, I’d say that he appears to be the second-most dangerous quarterback in the division but he won’t be in the mix for the playoffs this season. Garoppolo will and Goff might but neither have played particularly well and are doing almost equally bad jobs at protecting the football — another strength of Wilson’s that they don’t have.
Goff signed a four-year, $134 million extension this year that kicks in for the 2021 season. If the Rams cut him before then, they’d have $15 million in dead cap but $17 million in savings. If they do my prediction and cut him after the 2021 season, they’ll save over $20 million in 2022 with only $10 million in dead money. There’s little saving Goff if he can’t save himself. Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract in February 2018, but San Francisco could actually cut him right now if they wanted to and be fine: they’d save $22.4 million in 2020 with only $4.2 in dead money left per OvertheCap.
Let us count the ways that the other three NFC West teams have tried to better Seattle’s option at quarterback through significant drafts, trades, and extensions:
- Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer, Josh Rosen, Kyler Murray.
- Sam Bradford, Nick Foles, Jared Goff.
- Colin Kaepernick, Jimmy Garoppolo.
- Bonus: Matt Flynn!
(This is not a full list of NFC West starters since 2012.)
Wilson remains steady, consistent, and great. Garoppolo is attempting to play in 19-20 games without turning it over 20-30 times. Murray is attempting to become a Wilson in a few years. Goff is just ... attempting. And that’s good news for any defense.
Now who’s the goofball?