Perhaps, the best way to sum up Jared Goff’s less-than-stellar night and the way it came to abrupt end is to say this: At least, it wasn’t Kam Chancellor who delivered the crushing hit that Goff might not even remember.
Perhaps the best way to sum up Jared Goff’s less-than-stellar night and the way it came to an abrupt end is to say this: At least it wasn’t Kam Chancellor who delivered the crushing hit that Goff might not even remember.
In what would be his last play of the 24-3 defeat against the Seahawks, the Rams rookie made a common and colossal mistake of many a young quarterback in the NFL — failing to avoid the oncoming and potentially injury-causing hit. It cost him the remainder of the game and possibly his next game.
With just more than nine minutes left in the game and his team down by 17, Goff moved the Rams into the red zone in search of their first touchdown of the game. On second-and-10 from the Seahawks’ 17-yard line, Goff dropped back to pass. Seeing his receivers blanketed in coverage — as they had been most of the night — he scrambled away from the pressure toward the Seattle sideline. There was nothing but open space as he sprinted for the end zone along the sideline.
With eyes focused on a possible touchdown, he seemed oblivious to what was coming from his right — namely two founding members of Seattle’s Legion of Boom — Richard Sherman and Chancellor.
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Perhaps fortunately for Goff and the Rams, the speedier Sherman got to him before the one-man freight train that is Chancellor could. Regardless, the result wasn’t good.
Sherman blasted the unsuspecting rookie, knocking Goff off his feet and 5 yards out of bounds. It elicited initial oohs followed by raucous cheers and, of course, a few taunting words from Sherman.
“We don’t give free meals,” he said. “So he had to feel it.”
Goff stayed on the ground for a few minutes and then slowly was helped to his feet. It initially looked as if he might stay in the game, but the NFL’s concussion spotters signaled down to the referees on the field and Goff was removed from the game.
After a brief period on the sideline with the Rams’ trainers, Goff was escorted to the locker room to undergo an evaluation for a possible concussion. Rams interim coach John Fassel confirmed Goff will go through mandatory concussion protocols set by the NFL.
“You admire his courage,” Fassel said, “but he’s just got to get out of bounds. Young quarterbacks don’t need to fight for an extra yard and he’ll learn that. But you just have to get out of bounds. It probably won’t ever happen again.”
Goff finished with 135 yards passing, hitting on 13 of 25 attempts and a 67.9 passer rating. He was sacked four times and hit about five other times, not counting his last play.
Goff’s ascension to the starting spot has been slow despite being selected as the No. 1 overall choice in the NFL draft out of California, where he put up video game-type numbers. Jeff Fisher, who was fired as the Rams coach earlier this week, opted to go with veteran Case Keenum early in the season, believing the talented Goff wasn’t quite ready to be an NFL starter. But with Keenum struggling and the Rams at 4-5, Fisher finally handed the job to the rookie.
Much as in his four previous starts, Goff showed flashes of promise, zipping a few nice completions. But he also exhibited extended periods of inconsistency, lack of pocket awareness and accuracy to where Fisher’s concerns of his readiness seemed viable. Goff also wasn’t helped by receivers, who misplayed two sure touchdown passes.
“What I’ve learned about Jared, he’s really a tough kid,” Fassel said. “That will take him a really long ways. We just have to do more to help him out.”