Can Jarod Goff lead the Rams to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots?

After a miserable rookie season under Jeff Fisher where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, few would have predicted that Jared Goff would be a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl just two years later. Instead, many were tossing around the “bust” term.

Things certainly changed once Sean McVay took over the Rams and quickly resurrected Goff’s career and reputation with his innovative offensive schemes. This past season Goff completed 64.9% of his passes for 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions.

Yet while those numbers are impressive, even in this pass-happy modern era, his performance down the stretch last week against the Saints may be even more impressive. While many remember the bad call that Saints fans are screaming about, it should be noted that Goff outplayed Drew Brees at the end of that game. Goff made several clutch throws while under pressure to save key drives. This is critical as we’ve seen Goff wilt under pressure at times, particularly in the game versus the Chicago Bears. But he didn’t fold after that lousy performance, and now he has a shot to beat the legendary Tom Brady.

If you’ve been following Super Bowl betting information, you know that early money went heavy on the Patriots to push the line up a point to Patriots -2.5 or -3. It’s not surprising when you consider the experience of Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots in light of the youth of Goff and McVay.

Goff has certainly said all the right things leading up to the game. He comes across as very mature for his age, and that approach is critical to success on the big stage. Frankly, it’s similar to what we saw from Brady when he won his first Super Bowl in his second season against Kurt Warner and the heavily favored Rams. Now Brady is the very old veteran. But as Goff points out, his matchup is up against the Patriots defense, not Brady. If he can keep that approach he will be served well.

McVay’s play calling will be critical. The Patriots are excellent at game planning, and we’ve seen them easily handle both the Chargers and the Chiefs in the first halves leading up to the Super Bowl. The Rams can’t afford to wait till halftime to make adjustments. They need to have a solid game plan that gets their young quarterback going early in the game. Much will depend on whether the Rams can continue to impose their will on the defense through the use of the running game. That of course then triggers play action and gives Goff much easier throws for completions. The Rams have to avoid the scenario in the Bears game where Goff was a sitting duck for a fierce pass rush.

Playing in the dome in Atlanta should help. Goff was clearly affected by the cold weather in Chicago. The perfect atmosphere of the dome gives the young Goff one less thing to worry about. That’s one main reason I won’t be surprised if Goff and the Rams fins a way to pull this one out.

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