Rookie quarterback Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, made his NFL debut but he could not lead the Los Angeles Rams (4-6) to a win against the Miami Dolphins (6-4) Sunday.
The rookie quarterback can not be blamed for the Rams blowing a 0-10 fourth quarter lead.
However, Goff went 17 of 31 for 134 yards in the 14-10 home loss to the Dolphins. The Rams’ only touchdown score came from running back Todd Gurley in the first quarter.
During a rainy day at the Coliseum, Gurley scored on a 24-yard run. This was Gurley’s longest run of the season. He finished the game with 75 yards on 20 carries. Jared Goff threw two passes that helped set up the first-quarter Gurley score.
Otherwise, no team showed a lot of offense until Miami’s two scores in the fourth quarter.
Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry caught a 10-yard touchdown pass with 4:02 left in the game. That score brought Miami within a field goal.
Next, DaVante Parker caught the go ahead score for Miami with under a minute left.
The Rams got the ball back with 0:41 remaining, but they only drove 12 yards before throwing a failed Hail Mary pass as time expired.
It took Goff 10 games to earn this start over quarterback Case Keenum.
Goff became the 10th consecutive No. 1 overall pick to lose his debut under center, per SB Nation. David Carr was the last No. 1 overall quarterback to win his first NFL start in 2002. Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, and many others lost their NFL debuts.
Reviews about Goff’s debut were mixed. He started slow from the beginning. Goff’s first play was a false start, and his first pass was tipped.
ABC Los Angeles writes that Goff showed mobility in the pocket on a handful of key third-downs. Check out Jared Goff throw on the move in this play.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Times’ Gary Klein says there were no awe-inspiring completions from Goff. However, the Rams did not seem like they needed awe-inspiring plays through three quarters. The L.A. defense dominated as they executed their conservative offensive game plan entering the fourth quarter.
ESPN’s Eric D. Williams writes that the Rams leaned on heavy run formations and max pass protection to keep Goff safe.
The rookie quarterback only threw five passes beyond 10 yards. All of those were incomplete. Goff’s longest completion was a 21-yard pass to Tavon Austin, which involved Austin making the gains after the catch.
Still, Williams writes that Goff got the ball out quickly. He managed the game effectively by not turning the ball over.
L.A. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said the Rams can be encouraged by his mistake-free start, according to the USA Today.
Fisher said he was disappointed with the outcome of the game, but he saw the light in his rookie quarterback. “I’m really proud of him,” Fisher said.
Jared Goff added that he was disappointed with the result of the game. “At the end there, with six minutes left, we couldn’t put it away.” Goff said.
Still, Goff said the game experience was priceless.
He started against a Miami defense that ranks 22nd in yards per game. The Dolphins were also on a four-game winning streak, before defeating L.A.
Hence, the Miami defense was on a roll entering a contest against the rookie. The Dolphins defense sacked Goff one time and hit him four times.
The USA Today points out that Jared Goff never lost composure, despite the pressure and wet football. Goff flawlessly ran the Rams’ huddle, although he mostly played a spread offense at Cal Berkeley.
Either way, the Rams did not look much different with Goff at quarterback. The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore writes that this might make the Rams’ next change come via the head coach.
Kilgore questions if the Rams wasted two picks trading up for Goff. He also questions if Fisher and first-year offensive coordinator Rob Boras can develop Goff.
He points out that Goff had the entire game to size control. Instead, he led a bland offense.
Fisher is now 31-42-1 in four-plus seasons with the Rams. He is in the final year of his contract, and this could be Fisher’s seventh consecutive year not making the playoffs. That could spell the end for Fisher in Los Angeles, according to The Washington Post.
Clearly, Fisher needs Jared Goff to get the offense going. It could save both of their legacies.
Nonetheless, Goff has plenty of time to develop into a boom or bust. It is only his first NFL start.
The Rams head to New Orleans for a game Nov. 27 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Jared Goff will start against one of the league’s worst defenses.
[Featured Image by Jae C. Hong/AP Images]