Now that Andrew Whitworth is returning for a 14th NFL season, Jared Goff faces even more pressure in making sure the Los Angeles Rams live up to the hype.
Jared Goff received one of the biggest wake-up calls as a rookie in 2016 after looking at all of the struggles he dealt with under center once he took over the starting role for the Los Angeles Rams, although it wasn’t entirely his fault.
From a weak receiving corps to go along with a horrendous offensive line, it was easy to understand Goff going 0-7 as a rookie with the Rams, but the good news is things would get better from there.
Thanks to Sean McVay coming on on board in the 2017 offseason, Los Angeles saw a major improvement in both areas during Goff’s sophomore campaign, which is one of the main reasons why Los Angeles was able to emerge as a surprise contender while going on to win the NFC West.
While there were numerous reasons behind the surprise success of the Rams this season, it’s tough to top the impact made by Andrew Whitworth providing a much-needed boost to the offensive line.
For reasons that were difficult to explain at the time, Whitworth was willing to take a chance on a team like Los Angeles that was coming off a four-win season the year before, but thank goodness he did since one can only imagine how different these last two seasons would be.
Sadly, one of the biggest questions surrounding the Rams shortly after their Super Bowl 53 loss to the New England Patriots was whether their beloved offensive lineman would decide to call it a career by retiring.
Rightfully so, a body can only take so many hits over the year like Whitworth has seen before the it seems right to finally call it a career. But on Tuesday, Whitworth announced the news that fans weren’t expecting for at least a few more weeks by saying he would in fact be back with the Rams in 2019, meaning the offensive line will have its beloved leader for at least one more season.
The Rams would love nothing more than to bounce back stronger in 2019 to put Whitworth in possible position to finally win a Super Bowl, and retire a champion like some of the other greats from over the years, such as Peyton Manning or Jerome Bettis.
Numerous factors will come into play when it comes to whether this will actually happen for Los Angeles, but the one player who may end up facing the most pressure could actually be Goff under center.
Part of the decision behind Whitworth’s signing back in 2016 was due to the necessary protection needed by Goff on the offensive line, and while the unit didn’t exactly look their sharpest in the Super Bowl, from an overall perspective, they have been amazing over the last two years.
Fair or unfair, Goff took plenty of criticism for the team’s poor play on offense during that brutal Super Bowl loss, but at the end of the day, it’s tough to defend a quarterback who couldn’t even get his team into the end zone once on the NFL’s biggest stage.
Hopefully, Whitworth and Goff can manage to put together another strong campaign in 2019 to put the Rams in another position next February where they’re representing the NFC in Miami during Super Bowl 54.
It’s not going to be easy since Los Angeles will be facing heavy pressure once again to prove they have what it takes to be a serious contender, but if Goff really is as great of a quarterback as the Rams have made him out to be, maybe he can help send Whitworth out as a winner next year.