Including what was a rocky start his rookie year, Goff has already started 38 games in three seasons. He has two 3,800-yard-plus passing seasons, and his team has won 11 and 13 games, respectively, over the past two regular seasons.
The Rams’ victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game is the focus of the latest installment of the ESPN+ show Detail with Peyton Manning.
Here’s a quick recap of Manning’s breakdown of Goff:
Deal with it
Manning opened the evaluation with the skull-crushing crowd noise inside the Superdome that Goff had to deal with, including taping over the ear holes in his helmet -- something the Saints defenders, specifically linebacker Alex Anzalone, pointed out.
“The crowd noise was definitely a factor. ... You try to simulate it in practice with speakers; nothing quite simulates the real environment of being on the road, especially in an NFC Championship Game,’’ Manning said.
Manning showed Goff’s options to vary the snap count as well as how taxing it is for a quarterback and the offensive linemen to simply get the ball from the center to the quarterback when no one on the offense can hear any cadence.
Manning pointed out the silent count -- Goff using his hands to signal to the linemen, with the guard tapping the center’s leg -- the “double silent count’’ and the occasional “quick count,’’ when the Rams simply snapped the ball as soon as they lined up, with Goff using a quick “set, go.’’
“I guarantee you Jared and these offensive linemen were emotionally drained after this game because of all the energy and effort that goes into communicating the snap count before the actual ball is snapped and the play is even run,’’ Manning said.
He said Goff’s ability to vary things, even that loud of an environment, was like a “pitcher working the changeup."
Manning showed how the Rams’ use of a simple route, when the receiver cuts in and then bounces back outside, or the other way around, could still keep the Saints off balance.
Manning said some call it a “burger" route, but that it was often a “disco’’ route when he played.
“The burger route, the In-N-Out burger,’’ Manning said. “Kind of a return route, we called it a disco, don’t really know why, we had disco, we had Travolta, all kind of things in the 'Saturday Night Fever' thing.’’
As simple a concept as it is, Manning said it was still “a lot for Saints to think about.’’
Don't call it arm talent
They are two words Manning has long said he hates and won’t say when talking about quarterbacks -- psst, the phrase is “arm talent’’ -- but he dialed in plenty on Goff’s accuracy on a deep ball to Brandin Cooks just before halftime.
It was a throw up the left sideline, which Goff put in the perfect spot for a 36-yard gain. The Rams scored on a 6-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley on the following play, with just 23 seconds remaining in the first half as the Rams cut the Saints' lead to 13-10.
Manning showed how the ball placement by Goff was the most important part of the play.
“Call this a big box fade, we want to widen out, get out there to that kind of box where we want to complete that ball,’’ Manning said. “All go routes ... most of these go routes should be completed 4 yards from the sideline, from the sideline and the numbers, that’s exactly where it was completed.’’
Manning added: “Great execution ... Jared throws it in a perfect spot ... big-time throw there.’’
The little things matter to Manning, who reminds quarterbacks what they do with their hands before they have the ball is as important as anything else -- whether that’s tipping the snap count by how a quarterback positions his hands when in the shotgun or how the quarterback plays under center.
This time, Manning pointed out how Goff rushed one of the Rams’ quick-count snaps.
It was nearly a fumble at the Saints’ 1-yard line, but the ball bounced back up to Goff, who fell on it at the 3-yard line.
“That’s the only tendency with a quick count, you can pull your hands out from center too quickly or the center maybe rushes the snap and every now and then you get this fumbled exchange,’’ Manning said. “I’ve talked about this before; one fumbled exchange is one too many. ... Stay in there, quarterbacks ... we can’t have a fumbled snap.’’
Manning said this could become an issue in the Super Bowl given the number of new footballs the league uses in the title game -- “all shiny and with the logos.’’
Manning also pointed out a near-fumble on a handoff from Goff to C.J. Anderson in overtime.
That’s the one
Manning took a moment to show what happens when a playcall, coupled with quarterback accuracy, gets the exact look from a defense to work well.
It was a 33-yard completion from Goff to wide receiver Josh Reynolds. The play moved the ball to the Saints’ 7-yard line, and four plays later the Rams tied the game 20-20 with a 24-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
“Certain plays that you call you hope you get a certain coverage, and when you do, boy your eyes get wide you get so excited,’’ Manning said.
Manning called it a “a great playcall’’ against a three-deep zone with a “post route with a wheel route behind it.’’
Be an amphibian
Manning discussed a throw on the first play of overtime for the Rams' offense, when Goff showed his ability to be what Manning has consistently joked about through the years -- “amphibious,’’ a frequent nod to a high school coach Manning has said would substitute the word "amphibious" for "ambidextrous."
The play was a 12-yard completion from Goff to tight end Tyler Higbee.
“Ball in his left hand, flips it to his right hand, flips his hips, makes a sidearm throw, accurate, on the run for his tight end to get some yards after the catch,’’ Manning said.
Manning showed how even when the Saints' defense got it right, Goff was up to the challenge. With time running out in regulation with the game on the line, Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, with a defensive back blitzing on his outside shoulder, fired through a gap and had a direct line to Goff.
Jordan even had a hand on Goff’s jersey when Goff completed a pass to Higbee that moved the ball to the Saints’ 39-yard line. Zuerlein kicked the 57-yard winning field goal two plays later, after an incompletion.
“This is the best 7-yard completion of Jared Goff’s life here,’’ Manning said of what was officially called a 6-yard completion. “How he gets this ball off I’m not sure. They got him; Jordan’s got a piece of his jersey, the other guy is coming for his head, he almost hook-shots this throw to get it off. It’s an accurate throw ... I’m telling you, the best 7-yard completion of his life.’’