Did the Rams make the right decision by picking Jared Goff over Carson Wentz?
The debate began before the 2016 NFL draft and could continue well after their careers are complete.
Did the Rams make the right decision?
Both quarterbacks helped lead their teams to Super Bowls — though Wentz’s 2017 opportunity was cut short because of a late-season injury suffered against the Rams — and both received then-record extensions before the 2019 season with stewardship from the same agent.
On Sunday, Goff and Wentz will play against each other for the second time when the Rams (1-0) play the Eagles (0-1) at Lincoln Financial Field.
In 2017, the Eagles defeated the Rams, 43-35, at the Coliseum. Wentz passed for four touchdowns before he suffered torn knee ligaments on a hit by former Rams linebacker Mark Barron late in the third quarter. Nick Foles came on to lead the Eagles to the victory — and a Super Bowl run. Goff passed for two touchdowns.
Wide receiver Robert Woods has agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Rams that includes $32 million guaranteed.
In 2018, a back injury forced Wentz to sit out the Eagles’ 30-23 victory over the Rams at the Coliseum. Goff passed for 339 yards with an interception and a fumble.
Goff, a Pro Bowl selection in 2017 and 2018, said he and Wentz have “a friendly rivalry” and have trained together and remain competitive.
“Hope he plays well enough,” Goff said, “but we still win.”
When a Philadelphia reporter this week asked Wentz if there was a Peyton Manning-Tom Brady vibe to his relationship with Goff, Wentz said the two periodically exchange texts and that he considers Goff a friend.
“But the rest of that, the rivalry, all of that stuff, that’s neither here nor there for both of us,” said Wentz, a Pro Bowl selection in 2017. “But I just enjoy playing against him, competing against him. Should be another fun one.”
The Rams are coming off a 20-17 season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Goff completed 20 of 31 passes for 275 yards with an interception as he began to put a subpar 2019 season behind.
The Eagles blew a 17-point, second-quarter lead in a 27-17 defeat at Washington. Wentz passed for two touchdowns in the first half but finished 24 for 42 for 270 yards with two interceptions and two fumbles. He was sacked eight times behind an injury depleted line.
Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley game-planned against Goff and Wentz when Staley was the outside linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears in 2017 and 2018. He said both should be considered “franchise quarterbacks” who can win any game.
“You can say, ‘Hey … if we’re behind, if we got to come back, if we got to go on the road, we feel good about these guys, leading our football team,’ ” Staley said.
Goff, 25, has a record of 34-21, though seven defeats came in his rookie season before coach Sean McVay ushered in a new era of offense. Goff has passed for 14,494 yards and 87 touchdowns with 43 interceptions and has a 2-2 record in the playoffs, including a defeat to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. He never has missed a start because of injury.
In September 2019, three months after the Eagles gave Wentz a four-year, $128-million extension that included nearly $108 million in guarantees, the Rams awarded Goff a four-year, $134-million extension that included $110 million in guarantees.
Rams rookie safety Jordan Fuller reflects on his big fourth-quarter tackle on a fourth-down play during the 20-17 win over Dallas on Sunday night.
Wentz, 27, has a record of 32-25 in four-plus injury-plagued seasons. He has passed for 14,461 yards and 99 touchdowns with 37 interceptions. In 2017, he was on his way to a possible NFL most valuable player award before he was injured against the Rams. Foles led the Eagles through the playoffs and was voted Super Bowl MVP after a victory over the Patriots.
“He’s a tough quarterback — he’s not going to let you take him down easy,” Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “He’s going to find ways to extend plays any way that he can to still get the ball downfield.
“If that’s him ducking under a sack and looking downfield to make a throw down deep, he can hurt you in a lot of different ways.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Goff and Wentz both have done well.
“It’s been unfortunate that with Carson, with his injury history, not being able to finish a couple of those years, but for the most part, they’ve both had success,” he said.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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