by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA — The Los Angeles Rams were just a couple of minutes shy of a perfect 4-0 record to start the season, but thanks to a costly penalty in Buffalo against the Bills two weeks ago, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to mount a comeback.
The Rams currently sit with a 3-1 record after a 17-9 win against the New York Giants last Sunday at SoFi Stadium. Though the team has one loss the team has played like an revamped engine in an old school classic car. Quarterback Jared Goff has looked very impressive in the first quarter of the season, much due to a new offensive coordinator in Kevin O’Connell who worked with Goff on his footwork and ability to get in and out of the pocket smoother. Despite a few injuries to the offense that included rookie running back Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown and guard Joe Noteboom, the offense has held tight.
On Wednesday, Goff gave his assessment of the team’s current progress and what made him successful these past several weeks.
“I feel like my feet have been so much better through these four games, than really anytime my career. Just the consistency with my feet and the consistency with my eyes,” Goff explained. “I think we’ve come a long way. I think, you know, from that Dallas game until last week – we obviously didn’t play our best – but even through the Buffalo week, we grew a lot. We found some things that we like to do. We found a little bit of an identity for ourselves offensively”
The offense has completed 96 first downs, 13 touchdowns and thrown for over 1,020 passing yards. The efficiency of the Rams on fourth down conversions has also improved to 75% success rate this season thus far.
Goff entered the season opener as the sixth all-time passing leader of the franchise with 14,219 yards. After the Cowboys victory, he’s currently fifth on the Rams all time passing list as he leap frogged Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner. He needs 1,620 yards to pass Norm Van Brocklin’s number and that could be achieved by week seven against the Chicago Bears.
However this year’s 3-1 team feels and plays different than the 2019 team with the same record at this time.
“Last year, I can’t even remember what the first four games were, but we got beat pretty bad by Tampa on both sides of the ball,” Goff said. “And right now through four games, we really haven’t had something like that. Buffalo took care of us in the first half and then we came right back and played well. Us and the Giants were close, all night and then we finished it. We came out with a drive and finished it. Us and Philly, we were pretty close all game and we came out and finished it. The same thing with Dallas. So that’s probably the difference is that each game we’ve had that opportunity (to) go out there and put ourselves in a position to win and we have.“
As the team embarks on the second quarter of the season, there are still several things Los Angeles can clean up. Yet against Washington who is really good upfront, the Rams will have to set the offensive tempo early and often by moving the chains and controlling the time of possession.
“They’re really good upfront, we’ll see if Chase Young plays,” Goff said. “He’s a great player. He provides a lot of challenges for us, but the rest of their D-line is also challenging and provides, you know, plenty of thoughts for us on where we want to go and how we want to handle it, but they do a good job.”
Goff and the offensive are playing with a different type of confidence we have not seen, as they continue to battle through each game with the willingness to fight through each level of adversity. By season’s end could be a scary opponent to face in the playoffs, but for now it;s one week at a time to improve.
“At the end of the day, we were our best when our best was required. Something that Sean [McVay] talked about on Monday, and we got it done.”