When an offense that averaged more than 30 points per game in the regular season gets held to just 3 on the biggest stage in American sports, fingers will inevitably be pointed at the quarterback. Former Cal quarterback Jared Goff, in front of hundreds of millions of viewers, completed just 50 percent of his passes and threw an untimely interception as the Los Angeles Rams were defeated by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53.
Many fans and viewers placed the blame on Goff, and while there were many other factors that went into the horrific offensive showing, the former Bear had several plays that he undoubtedly wishes he could redo.
For instance, he missed out on one of the easiest touchdown throws of his career, as speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks found himself wide open in the end zone with the Rams down 3-0. Goff, facing constant pressure throughout the night, let go of the ball way too late, and by the time the ball reached Cooks’ hands, the Patriots defender was already there to break up the play.
Later, with under five minutes left in the game, the Rams had their offense driving downfield and were in position to tie the game at 10. Perhaps Goff was too eager to score — he seemingly chucked a ball off his back foot into the end zone in an attempt to again hit Cooks. Lurking right in the area, however, was All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who easily stepped in front of the lobbed pass for an interception that would make the game exponentially more difficult to win for the Rams.
It’s fair for fans to be disappointed in Goff after a performance like that. But he’s no stranger to bouncing back.
In the young gun’s first year starting at Cal in 2013, the team finished with an abysmal 1-11 record. In 2015, Goff had been at the helm for more than two years and headlined the Bears’ extraordinary 5-0 season record before proceeding to throw five interceptions against Utah to kick off a four-game losing skid. Still, Goff kept his cool and led the team to a win in the Armed Forces Bowl that same season.
Just a few months later, his name was announced as the No. 1 overall pick at the 2016 NFL draft. Then, in his rookie season with the Rams, he went winless in seven starts and was immediately labeled a bust. The year after, apparently having learned from his mistakes, Goff led an offensive juggernaut that finished first in the league in offense. The year after that, he took his team to a Super Bowl, which is something that very few quarterbacks ever have the chance to say.
Goff may have cost his team a ring this year, but don’t doubt the man. He’s battled adversity plenty of times before, and you can expect him to be back in the spotlight sooner rather than later.