After a dismal three-game stretch, the Los Angeles Rams need to start seeing the version of Jared Goff they had early in the season.
As the calendar flipped to December, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff was legitimately in the MVP conversation.
But over three games since a Week 12 bye his passer rating is 54.8, with one touchdown and six interceptions as he has completed just over 55 percent of his passes during that span.
The only quarterback with a passer rating worse than that over the last three weeks is Mark Sanchez, who has been benched.
Facing two tough defenses in the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles over the last two weeks, designed and deployed by top-level coordinators Vic Fangio and Jim Schwartz respectively, hasn’t helped Goff find his way.
It’s not all on Goff either, as he’s been sacked 12 times over the last four games and multiple times in five straight contests as his play has dropped off.
But heading into a get-right game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, Goff dismissed the notion he or his teammates are in panic mode.
“No. No, I’m not. I don’t think we are. I think we’re learning from them, learning from the mistakes in the last game and moving forward. It is our first time going through that with Sean.
“That speaks to what we’ve done in the last two years, but definitely something that we’re learning through and a little bit of adversity for us to get through.”
Getting away from the running game has also hurt the Rams, as Todd Gurley has just 23 carries over the last two games.
A significant deficit and a knee injury played a role in his reduced role against the Eagles last week, and Gurley may not play against the Cardinals due to knee inflammation that kept him from practicing all week.
If rookie John Kelly and newly signed C.J. Anderson are the team’s top two backs in Gurley’s stead, Goff and the passing game will have to carry more of the offense.
The Rams have a soft remaining schedule, against Arizona on the road this week and San Francisco at home in Week 17. With tiebreakers going against them, they may have to win both to secure a first-round playoff bye.
Regardless, Goff has the next two games to get some confidence back against easier opponents. If he can’t get out of his current funk, the Rams will be in line for a short playoff run.