Jared Goff aims to break his slump when Rams visit the Arizona Cardinals
The massive contract extension Jared Goff signed before the season is not putting an extra burden on the Rams quarterback.
That, at least, is what Goff said Wednesday when asked if the $134-million deal — with a record $110-million guaranteed — came with more pressure to perform.
“There are times when you think of it,” Goff said, “But no, I don’t feel any differently.”
Goff, 25, has struggled this season to play to the level that earned him consecutive Pro Bowl selections.
The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL draft goes into Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals having not thrown a touchdown pass in the last three games, the longest streak of his NFL career.
Goff has passed for 2,995 yards and 11 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions. He ranks fourth in the NFL in yards passing, but is 29th in completion percentage (61.2%), 25th in touchdowns and has the fourth-most interceptions.
Goff will finish the month of November with no touchdown passes. In the last three games, he has had five passes intercepted, including two in Monday’s 45-6 rout by the Baltimore Ravens. He also has fumbled four times, losing one.
Coach Sean McVay said this week that Goff’s quarterback ratings were “not always a reflection of him.”
But Goff has not performed as he did in 2018 when he led the Rams to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl run.
After a big win over the Rams, NFL bettors like the Baltimore Ravens — too much against the equally impressive San Francisco 49ers.
The touchdown-pass drought resulted in part from playing against strong defenses and a lack of execution by the Rams — mainly himself, Goff said.
“Need to be better at everything,” he said. “I know I said this the last couple weeks, but I will be.”
Goff and the Rams have no margin for error as the attempt to remain in playoff contention.
They are 6-5 and almost certainly need to win their five remaining games — against the Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and the Cardinals — to earn a third consecutive postseason berth.
The Rams are averaging 22.6 points per game, which ranks 14th in the NFL. Their average fell after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-12, defeating the Chicago Bears, 17-7, and then producing only two field goals against the Ravens.
“Our offense has not been where it needs to be the last few weeks, and I need to bring up the standard a little bit,” Goff said.
Despite Goff’s struggles, he remains “a tremendous thrower and great decision-maker,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
“You don’t go to Super Bowls, you don’t play at the level he’s played at the last three years if you’re not,” he said.
Goff’s statistics do not entirely reflect his play this season, Kingsbury said.
After losing handily to the Ravens and versatile quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Rams have to face another two-dimensional player in Arizona’s Kyler Murray.
“Everybody has those stretches — the best to ever do it have had those stretches,” he said. “He’ll come out of it and continue to be one of the top, top QBs in the league.”
The Rams need that to happen Sunday.
Goff and his teammates said they have put the embarrassing loss to the Ravens behind.
“It was definitely something that made you sick and something that you never want to relive or have to go through,” Goff said. “But we’re beyond that now — push through it.
“On to Arizona.”
The Rams had two walk-throughs Wednesday so they issued an estimated injury report. Safety Marqui Christian popped up because of a knee issue. McVay said it was “precautionary.” … McVay’s favorite Thanksgiving dish? “I like stuffing, I like mashed potatoes. I’ll put on about 12 pounds” on Thursday, he said.
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