Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff attained a “perfect” rating.
Last Thursday, at home against the Minnesota Vikings, Goff achieved a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
Leave it to the NFL to have metrics like that.
Goff’s turnaround is unprecedented…and no one saw it coming.
HBO’s 2016 Hard Knocks featured the Rams after their move from St. Louis. Goff was just a big goofy kid in his rookie year. He didn’t know where the sun rose or set, and had to be schooled on the rotation of the earth.
Head Coach Jeff Fisher tossed that kid into the deep end of the pool and walked away.
In that “sink or swim” scenario, Goff sank.
He went 0-7 that season, and sat at the bottom among the lowest five in QB rating, completion percentage, and touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Pass pundits lamented that Goff’s weaknesses included holding the ball too long, not looking downfield, dubious decision-making and poor accuracy.
Now, he’s perfect.
The team is riding a perfect record, as well.
The Rams (4-0) sit alone at the top of the league as the only team that remains undefeated.
On a short week the Rams had the advantage of playing at home. However, their game against the Vikings was not easy.
Goff’s perfect performance included a career high in total passing-yards, a career best with five touchdown passes, and no interceptions…not to mention 7-yards of rushing.
That notwithstanding, it was still a close shootout at the Coliseum.
The Vikings have had troubles with their run game. In their first three outings they had gone to the air over 70 percent of the time, which puts a great deal of pressure on Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins.
They continued to have trouble efficiently moving the ball on the ground against in Los Angeles.
The Rams (wearing their throwback uniforms) kicked off.
The other set of horns on the field then stitched together 13-plays, in a 75-yard drive that saw four 1st down conversions and chewed up almost half of the first quarter.
Most of their yardage came via their aerial attack, including Cousins’ 16-yard TD pass to wide receiver Aldrick Robinson, standing all by himself in the end zone.
The Rams answered with a possession that mirrored the Vikings.
They moved 75-yards on 12-plays (mostly on pass gains) with running back Todd Gurley getting a touchdown on an 8-yard reception, 7-7.
Minnesota started the second Q with a 37-yard field goal.
But the Rams immediately retook the lead when Goff proved his accuracy is no longer an issue. He put the pigskin into the outstretched hands of WR Cooper Kupp for a 70-yard TD, 10-14.
It went back-and-forth. The Rams would “tat” and the Vikings would…do the other thing.
Robinson notched another touchdown catch.
Both L.A. and Minnesota punted out of their next possessions but when the Rams got the ball back it took less than two-minutes to go 71-yards and hit C. Kupp in the corner of the end zone, 17-21.
The Vikings went backwards on their next series and L.A. had a windfall on theirs.
After another “piC.Kupp” of 11-yards, Minnesota was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct (15-yards) and Goff aired one out to WR Brandin Cooks for a 47-yard TD.
Minnesota managed an FG and ended the half trailing, 20-28.
Back from the locker room the Rams received the kick. A failed trick-play gave the Vikes the ball, but they wound up punting.
Gurley picked up 56-yards and Kicker Sam Ficken added another FG, 20-31.
The Vikings would not go down without a fight, scored a touchdown and succeeded on the two-point conversion, 28-31.
The Rams ate 75-yards worth of grass and Goff targeted WR Robert woods on consecutive passes for 46-yards, and a TD.
The Vikings pulled within a score with another FG, only to fumble on their final possession. The Rams recovered and burned the clock.
Final score, 31-38.
God Bless and strive
Mark Felicetti invites you to observe Cancer Awareness Month and salutes the efforts of Marty, Danny and Kim. Reach Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.