Jared Goff, your football career is ready …
After what took place in New York on Sunday, anyone who still watches NFL games can only hope so.
In a season that had grown more unwatchable by the week, no game was worse on the eyes than the taffy pull between the Jets and Los Angeles Rams, who set offense back to the leather helmet days. The Rams prevailed, 9-6, because, well, the rules stated that there had to be a winner.
The Rams have scored two touchdowns in the last 12 quarters. They were shut out by the Santa Clara Phoney-Niners, for goodness sakes. Yet somehow, at 4-5, they’re still in the NFC wild card race. Unless they find an upgrade for retread Case Keenum at quarterback, though, that can’t possibly continue.
Enter Goff, the No. 1 pick in the last draft who has yet to play this season.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher says he’s happy with Goff and expects the kid to have a successful career but won’t play him until he’s ready. Fair enough. Because Goff played in a different system at Cal, he had more to learn than rookies Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz, who became starters out of necessity in their first seasons.
But Goff is a bright kid who has had 10 weeks to observe, practice and learn in the regular season. Really, can he be that much worse than Keenum, whose 77.2 rating was 29th in the league at the start of the day? SoCal fans who waited more than two decades for the return of pro football don’t think so. They’re the ones who filled the Coliseum with chants of “Goff! Goff! Goff!” a couple weeks ago.
Let’s not expect miracles here. Goff is sure to take his lumps before long. The offensive line is erratic. So are the receivers and game plan. The schedule won’t do him any favors.
Yet rookies have to be thrown in the fire at some point. For Goff, this weekend against the Miami Dolphins at the Coliseum will be as good as any.
HURTS SO GOOD: Santa Clara lost their eighth game in a row, this time to the Cardinals in Arizona, 23-20, but at least they made it look good this time.
As usual, Santa Clara fell behind early. They’ve been outscored by a combined 42-6 in the first quarter with Colin Kaepernick as a starter. That means the coaches aren’t prepared for the games. And the quarterback. And the rest of the offense. And the defense. Yeah, especially the defense.
In other words, a 1-15 season and a top-two draft pick are very doable. Who says Chip Kelly isn’t capable of the perfect game plan?
HEY, LOOK … The Cardinals’ David Johnson scored another touchdown against the Niners!
REST OF THE STORY: Santa Clara general manager Trent Baalke selected Jaquiski Tartt and Eli Harold ahead of Johnson, who was taken in the third round of the 2015 draft. One year later, he’s the best all-purpose back in the league.
But, remember, you can’t get a Jaquiski Tartt in just any draft, you know.
DON’T WRITE ‘EM OFF YET: Tramaine Brock and Eric Reid may not be Pro Bowlers any time soon, but they are candidates for the Mannequin Challenge, for sure.
NEVER SAY GOOD BYE: The first-place Raiders were off on Sunday, and when you stand pat in the best division in football, you lose.
After the the Denver Broncos (7-3) and Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) won close games, both on the road, one-half game separated the top three teams. And if the San Diego Chargers (4-6) hadn’t concocted so many ways to lose, they’d be in the hunt, too.
If the 7-2 Raiders are gonna have first division title since the George Dubya administration, they’re gonna have to do it the old-fashioned way — earn it.
DOUBLE DARE YA: While the Raiders were away, Fox Sports had the nerve to play The Autumn Wind on the Dallas Cowboys-Pittsburgh Steelers telecast.
Ex-Raider Bill Romanowski had to be restrained before he punched Troy Aikman and Joe Buck in the face.
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE: Fred (The Hammer) Williamson?
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