Los Angeles Rams announce Jared Goff will start this Sunday

Phillip Downey/File

The Los Angeles Rams announced Tuesday that former Cal quarterback Jared Goff will start ahead of Case Keenum this Sunday.

Goff, who was the first pick in the NFL Draft this year, will get his first pro start against the Miami Dolphins in Los Angeles. The former Bear has yet to throw a pass in the regular season after a mediocre preseason saw him lose the starting job to Keenum.

With Goff taking the helm, defenses may have to respect the Rams’ passing game and open up some lanes for Todd Gurley, who’s only managed 3.1 yards per carry after a dominant rookie season in 2015. Goff will look to follow in the footsteps of Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz, rookie quarterbacks from his class who’ve already succeeded and shown signs of promise this season.

At the very least, Goff figures to be no worse than his predecessor.

Keenum has struggled all season long. He has nine passing touchdowns and 2,169 yards in nine starts but has thrown 11 interceptions and only notched 6.93 yards per attempt. Many Rams fans have been critical of Keenum for weighing down the team’s offense. Despite having one of the NFL’s most prolific defenses and its best young running backs in Gurley, the Rams are only 4-5 as opposing teams have stacked the box. This has slowed down Gurley and contributed to the team only scoring 15.4 points per game, which is worst in the NFL.

Even with the offense’s struggles, the Rams are only 1.5 games behind the sixth-seeded Washington football team in the NFC’s playoff race, so Goff is taking over the starting job in a high-pressure situation. Do well and he can propel the team into the playoffs. Do poorly and the Rams will find themselves falling down the rankings.

Either way, Goff will get his first chance to prove himself Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Hooman Yazdanian is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @hoomanyazdanian