Cowherd puts LA Rams Jared Goff in 4th ‘Quarter-Bank’ tier

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Did NFL Sports pundit Colin Cowherd categorize LA Rams QB Jared Goff in the right ‘Quarter-Bank’ tier?

The LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff will a polarizing figure in the NFL for many years. On one side, there is the fact he played in the NFL’s Super Bowl in just his third season. He continues to race up the Rams’ all-time passer record holders, and will soon challenge as the team’s number one passer of all-time.  That’s quite a curriculum vitae for an NFL quarterback.

On the other side is the faction he has never bought in that any of Jared Goff’s success is the player. They perceive that he is simply a glorified marionette, an NFL version of a muppet, who simply takes the snap and blindly executes an offensive play exactly as head coach Sean McVay has drawn it up.

Compare the NFL’s best

That perception continues to be propagated among NFL analyst circles and NFL blog sites. After all, bias exists in virtually everyone. That means that the likelihood of finding pro-Goff bias is about 3.3%, and anti-Goff bias at about 96.7% likely. And that’s a shame because the path of any NFL quarterback is fraught with good games and bad games.  Let’s examine the top three passes in the NFL right now: Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

Wilson threw a rather pedestrian game against the Minnesota Vikings at 217 yards passing and three touchdowns to one interception. Mahomes threw for just 200 yards and one touchdown against the Denver Broncos. And Aaron Rodgers threw for just 160 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Goff’s worst was 198 yards for two touchdowns and one interception against the San Francisco 49ers. So all quarterbacks have disappointing games.  It’s simply a perception of adding that game to the “he’s bad” narrative or discarding it from the “he’s good” narrative.

‘Quarter-Bank’ method

That perception is further exaggerated based upon the amount of money a player is paid in the NFL. So sports analyst and talking head Colin Cowherd featured an intriguing segment recently on the topic of NFL quarterbacks, and how compensation skews the perception of the player. The televised segment originated around a defense of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

The premise of the discussion is that many NFL quarterbacks are subject to criticism of their play due to the perception of their playing at a level under their compensation level. In short, he asserts that Jared Goff is at the right value at an average compensation of $25 million per year.  He further includes such quarterbacks as Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson, Arizona Cardinals Kyler Murray,  Houston Texans DeShaun Watson, and Philadelphia Eagles Carson Wentz.

How does that compare to the next tier up?

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Tiers or fears?

The next higher tier is the $30 million tier and includes Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, and New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees.

The difference is that this tier possesses a Super Bowl ring (that they earned on the field), they have won their division multiple times, and the team needs them on the field to win.

The question is, which tier does LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff belong? Of course, the Rams had extended Goff for six years at a cost of $167 million.

Quick math averages that out to $27.8 million per year.  Of course, due to the NFL salary cap, that average is never truly what is paid out, nor what hits the team’s salary cap. In 2020, that number is $28.8 million against the team’s cap. In 2021, that number balloons to a peak of $34.6 million.

Current debate fueled by the recent offensive slump

There’s been a lot of debate recently about Goff’s ability to lead the team after a bit of a lull throughout the offense. While it’s so easy to lay offensive struggles at the feet of a pocket quarterback, the true causes are not as easy to assign blame for. The Rams faced two very determined defenses, and the coaching staff failed to adapt to what worked on the football field.

Throwing over 60 passes into a blitzing defense that is getting to the quarterback is hard to rationalize. It borders near insanity when held up to the fact that the Rams running game was very effective. In fact, in all three losses so far this season, the Rams ability to run with the football was never a question. What did create questions was why the Rams chose not to run the ball when it was working.

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Is the problem Goff? No. He is not the problem, nor is he overpaid. In fact, he is in a great position to have the best game of his season against the Seattle Seahawks. But if you are not convinced that Goff is the answer, try this exercise. Who can the LA Rams conceivably sign up to the team who can do a better job?

If you can answer that quickly, you are fooling yourself. If you can’t answer that quickly, then get on board the Goff bandwagon. After this weekend, you’ll be glad that you did.