Has instant success spoiled LA Rams QB Jared Goff? Or are NFL sportswriters undervaluing his production?
The LA Rams did not hesitate to pay their young quarterback Jared Goff. Was that wise? The debate of top NFL quarterbacks happens anytime a quarterback makes headlines. We have the current debate of Patrick Mahomes’ value, now that he is worth over half-a-billion to the NFL. That means that the storylines of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be next, as will Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
But LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff is seldom mentioned in any conversation about the NFL’s rising stars at quarterback. That concerns me. It suggests that sports reporting does not hold the objectivity I hoped for. Rather, the narrative is already decided upon, and writers cherry-pick facts to support what they had already decided to say.
Facts tell a different story
What is the problem? A reserved quarterback Goff plays for a charismatic and energetic head coach Sean McVay. When the spotlight shines on the LA Rams offense, all eyes train upon McVay. Still, the quarterback must execute the plays McVay designs, and so far Goff has done exactly that.
A recent article ranking NFC West quarterbacks placed Jared Goff last among the four quarterbacks. Last. This is after a 2019 season where he was the third-ranked quarterback on passing yards playing behind the 31st-ranked offensive line. He was the fourth-ranked quarterback in 2018. He was even the tenth-ranked quarterback in 2017. Compare those rankings to often discussed Dak Prescott, who was ranked second in 2019, 15th in 2018, and 16th in 2017. And yet, Prescott is considered a far better quarterback.
Top performer, worst perception
Since taking over for the Rams, Goff was the top-performing quarterback of the NFC West in 2019, 2018, and was ranked just one spot behind Russell Wilson in 2017. And yet, the same storyline runs over and over. If a poll were taken to rank NFL quarterbacks, Goff would not be rated even among the top 15.
And yet, Goff continues to do things like no other NFL quarterback. The latest statistic provided by Pro Football Focus is another example. Goff made the most number of “big throws” on third and fourth down of any NFL quarterback.
Big-time QBs on 💰 downs pic.twitter.com/iElbMD6MQB
— PFF (@PFF) July 7, 2020
Eventually, either Goff will fall to those low expectations at some late point of his career, and naysayers will be right there to say “I told you so!”. More likely, he will continue to perform as one of the best, and unheralded, NFL quarterbacks.
In the meantime, we hope he continues to do what he does. It may not be enough to change perceptions but should be enough to get the Rams back into the playoffs.