Jared Goff’s 5 worst games: Throwing for 78 yards, a 19.1 passer rating and Super Bowl LIII

Detroit Free Press

Carlos Monarrez | Detroit Free Press

If all goes according to plan, Jared Goff will begin his career as a Detroit Lions quarterback in about a month when the Matthew Stafford trade becomes official. After examining Goff’s five best performances during his five-year career with the Los Angeles Rams, let’s look at his five worst performances.

Something to note about this list of Goff’s worst performances is they aren’t based solely on raw statistics. Weight is also given to statistical efficiency, the quality of the opponent and the significance of the game.

5. Oct. 8, 2017

The Rams’ 16-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks was a bad game all around. But Goff’s poor play, especially at the wrong time, made a big difference.

Goff completed 46.8% of his passes for 288 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Neither of his picks led to Seahawks points. But his lost fumble with less than 3 minutes left cost the Rams the game.

The Rams trailed 13-10 and faced first-and-10 from the L.A. 43 when Frank Clark made a strip-sack. Sheldon Richardson recovered the ball and returned it 20 yards to the 20. Seattle converted a field goal on the ensuing drive.

Goff gave the Rams a chance to win on the final drive when he took the offense 55 yards. But his pass to Cooper Kupp on fourth down was incomplete.

4. Dec. 24, 2016

There are a few clunkers to pick from Goff’s seven starts during his rookie season under coach Jeff Fisher, who was fired 12 days before the 22-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. We’ll stick to picking one game from that year because it’s hard for any QB during his rookie season, let alone one that included a head coach firing.

Goff threw for 90 yards and completed 11 of 24 attempts with one touchdown and two interceptions vs. the Niners. He finished with a 35.1 passer rating.

The loss was the 10th in 11 games for the Rams, who finished 4-12 that season. After the game, a solemn Goff took responsibility for the loss and pledged he would improve. “I promise everyone out there,” he said, “all of the Rams fans, that I’m going to do everything I can, everything in me, to make that happen and get this thing fixed.”

3. Oct. 13, 2019

Somehow, Goff threw for a career-low 78 yards in a 20-7 loss to the 49ers two weeks after he had thrown for a career-high 517 yards in a 55-40 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Goff completed 13 of 24 passes with no touchdowns or interceptions and averaged a career-low 3.25 yards per attempt. He fumbled twice, and lost a fumble on the first play of the third quarter, which the 49ers recovered and turned into a touchdown on the ensuing drive.

The Rams were without running back Todd Gurley and faced an excellent 49ers defense. But it was inexcusable for Goff and the Rams to go 0-for-9 on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth down in losing their third straight game.

2. Dec. 9, 2018

There’s something seriously wrong with a rating system that determines a perfect score is 158.3. But that’s the world we live in with the NFL’s current passer rating. (Sorry, ESPN. Nice try with QBR.)

Like it or not, the passer rating isn’t going anywhere. But it does serve as a rough barometer for when performances go well and not well. The 15-6 loss to the Chicago Bears would definitely fall into the latter category because when you post a 19.1 passer rating, it’s almost like getting a few mercy points just for signing your name on the SAT.

Yes, Chicago finished 12-4 and had the top scoring defense. But that didn’t justify Goff throwing four interceptions with no touchdowns and completing 45.5% of his passes for 180 yards on Sunday Night Football. With a 19.1 passer rating.

1. Feb. 3, 2019

Yep. The Super Bowl.

Statistically, the 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII isn’t Goff’s worst game. But when you factor in the magnitude of the game and how he played, it’s clearly his worst performance and should haunt his dreams — as it probably does those of most Rams fans.

The Rams came into the game scorching hot on offense, averaging 33.7 points over their previous four games. The Patriots did have a very good defense that season, ranking seventh in scoring. But the defense entered the Super Bowl after allowing 31 points in an overtime escape at Kansas City.

Goff completed 19 of 38 passes with one interception and took four sacks while posting a 58.9 passer rating. His worst moment came at the worst time, when he threw a terrible interception to Stephon Gilmore.

The Rams trailed, 10-3, with 4:24 left and faced second-and-10 at the Pats’ 27-yard line. Safety Duron Harmon blitzed and was bearing down on Goff, who panicked and threw a floater off his back foot short of the end zone that Gilmore easily caught.

Goff owned his failure, though, and acknowledged the Rams’ wasted defensive effort when he said, “Toughest loss I’ve ever had. It kills. It’s terrible.”

No argument here, Jared.

Contact Carlos Monarrez at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.


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