Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s improvement from his first year in the league to his second season has been quite remarkable. He’s 21st in pass attempts with 244, yet he ranks 10th in passing yards with 2,030, almost double what he had in his seven starts in 2016. He and the Rams offense are averaging almost 19 more points per game than they were in 2016, which would be the largest increase since 1970. The team they are currently ahead of on that list is none other than the 1999 “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams, who averaged 15.1 more points than the prior year’s Rams team. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only one team in NFL history has ever led the league in scoring the year after finishing last: the 1965 49ers. The Rams currently hold that lead at 32.9 with the Eagles behind them at 31.4. Here are some of the numbers that show how different Goff’s 2017 season really is.
Goff currently has 35 more completions than he did in his seven games in 2016, yet he has an astonishing 941 more yards and eight more touchdown passes, along with three less interceptions. This means that in those extra 35 completions he has averaged 26.9 yards per catch and a touchdown on 22.9 percent of throws. The sheer efficiency of his throws has helped lead a huge turnaround in offensive production, also opening up room for running back Todd Gurley to maneuver, which is also a breath of fresh air after his poor season in 2016. Goff’s yards per attempt has gone up a whole three yards over the course of the year from 5.3 to 8.3. On top that his last game against the New York Giants saw him go for 14.1 yards per attempt, 3.2 yards more than the next closest quarterback and something he never even did in college at the University of California.
After finishing the 2016 NFL season at the bottom of the league in quarterback passer rating with 63.6, Goff currently sits tied for eighth with fellow sophomore Dak Prescott at 97.9. Goff’s 2016 season saw him have just one game with a passer rating above 100.0, at 100.3. In 2017 Goff already has three games with a passer rating above 100.0, with two of them being above 145.0. Those two games were remarkable performances against San Francisco and New York. There are only 17 quarterbacks above the league average in passer rating, which sits at 88.3, and Goff is one of them.
So far in the 2017 season, the Rams have had 110 third down situations, converting 54 of them for first downs. Their 49.1 percent third down conversion rate ranks first in the entire league and has not only helped the offense sustain drives, but has also kept the defense on the sidelines and rested. This 2017 Rams offense has only 13 less third down conversions than the 2016 team, despite having almost twice as many third down situations in 2016. 38 of those 54 conversions have come via the passing game, while they have passed on 78 of their 110 total third downs. Goff’s third down passing success rate of 48.7 percent ranks third in the league, behind only Tom Brady and Carson Wentz.
It’s hard to forget that Jared Goff just recently turned 23 years old and is one of the youngest current starters in the NFL, yet he has still made as big a jump as he did. A lot of his success is to be credited to his new head coach Sean McVay, but Goff has the talent to suggest he’s just scratching the surface of what he can do. With a 6-2 record, the Rams are looking at their best start since the 2001 St. Louis Rams, who went to the super bowl. One thing is for certain, Goff has his team three wins away from giving Rams fans their first true winning season (not 8-8) since 2003, when they went 10-6.
Sam Bradford may be heading to I.R.