Rams hope Jared Goff doesn’t experience 2016 flashbacks against aggressive Vikings
By Rich Hammond
MINNEAPOLIS — Jared Goff can take a hit, but that’s not the point.
No NFL coach in his right mind will brag about the fact that a quarterback can tolerate getting pummeled. It’s not a long-term strategy.
Last season, that’s about all the Rams could say. Their offense line, firm as cotton candy, contributed to Goff being sacked 26 times in seven games. It’s been a far different situation this season, although that will be tested Sunday when the Rams face the Minnesota Vikings’ fierce defensive front.
“The thing that’s so challenging about them,” Rams coach Sean McVay said, “is they can (pressure the quarterback) with the four-man rush and play zone behind it or they can give you a bunch of different issues with some of the different pressures that they present in a lot of those passing situations.”
Thus far, the Rams’ offensive line has been equal to most tasks. Analytics website Football Outsiders ranks the Rams No. 5 in the NFL in pass protection, and Goff has been sacked only 13 times in nine games.
This could be the game in which everyone finds out how much Goff has grown.
Another website, Pro Football Focus, noted this week that Goff has a quarterback rating of 102.5 when allowed at least 2.6 seconds in the pocket. The Vikings have been masters at getting to the quarterback quickly.
That means Goff, more than ever this season, will have to be aware of pressure and make good decisions with the ball. Goff has thrown only one interception in his last four games, but the last time he faced a team with this much front-seven pressure, he threw two interceptions against Seattle.
“We’ve got to go out there, execute our game plan and do our job and be aggressive, and we can affect this quarterback,” Vikings defensive tackle Tom […]