Key 1: Go for the jugular
Almost diametrically opposed to the previous key is the ability to go for the jugular. While the LA Rams have that type of quick-score offense, the passion of a game-ending scoring drive was lost in 2019. In two separate games, the LA Rams failed to win a game with a last-minute field goal attempt but fell to an opponent’s last-second game-winning field goal. Two games within the grasp, but both fell the wrong way for the team. The Rams fate was sealed by those two games, by those two endings.
In the context of a game, momentum changes hands, some plays succeed and some do not. But in the course of the game, there comes a point where the quarterback has an opportunity to change the course of a game. Whether that is to throw the ball for a touchdown pass, or simply to avoid throwing a momentum-halting interception. And that dedication to sustain positive momentum was sorely lacking in 2019.
Turnover free play
The LA Rams passing game had similar yardage between 2018 and 2019. Passing touchdowns fell from 32 to 22. Interceptions increased from 12 to 16. And attempts rose from 561 to 626. Far more effort resulting in less production. Before you read this as an indictment against Goff, it’s not. It is the result of a team that failed to adapt, failed to take what defenses gave them, failed to place the offense into better situations, and failed to improve in key areas. The Rams failed to establish an effective running game in 2019. That placed the burden of the offense upon Goff.
He carried the team to a 9-7 season, placed two wide receivers in the 1000 yard club, nearly placed a tight end over 1000 yards receiving, and avoided injury. Goff certainly did not benefit from an NFL best offensive line (ranked 31st). He didn’t even benefit from an NFL best running game (ranked 26th). The fact that the Rams ended with a winning record was outstanding. Now the Rams have a chance to unleash Goff’s full potential. How good can that be? I expect many will be pleasantly surprised.