Jared Goff leads touchdown drive in 2017 preseason debut

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/29235/" data-ylk="slk:Jared Goff">Jared Goff</a> played less than half a quarter in his 2017 preseason debut. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Jared Goff played less than half a quarter in his 2017 preseason debut. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Jared Goff started for the Los Angeles Rams in their preseason opener and played two series against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night, completing three of four passes for 36 yards and leading a short touchdown drive.

On his first series, the second-year pro out of California missed low to Robert Woods on first down. On third down, a check-down to Todd Gurley finished well short of the sticks, and the Rams were forced to punt it away. But Dallas return man Lance Lenoir muffed the kick, and the Rams jumped on the loose ball, giving Goff and Co. new life.

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Taking over at the Dallas 33, Goff followed a one-yard Gurley run with a nice completion to Cooper Kupp off of play action for a first down. Two plays later, on third-and-six, Goff found Woods on a slant. As Woods pushed for first-down yardage, Dallas linebacker Anthony Hitchens popped the ball loose. The fumble rolled into the endzone, but Kupp was able to jump on top of it for an unconventional touchdown.

That was the last play for Goff, who was replaced by Sean Mannion on the next drive. There wasn’t much to take away from his 2017 debut, though scoring a touchdown — no matter how it happened — was certainly a nice moment for the team. The Rams finished dead last in points per game in 2016.

Goff played without his new top wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, who the team acquired from the Buffalo Bills in a trade earlier in the week. It was a move that should help the second-year quarterback immensely: He now has a true No. 1 receiver and a go-to guy. How Goff meshes with the talented yet oft-injured Watkins will be key for both mens’ careers. Another one of the team’s top pass catchers, Tavon Austin, did not see the field either.

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