NFL Betting: Over/Under on Jared Goff’s 2016 Starts
The Los Angeles Rams appear to be in a truly bad way, as they began the 2016 NFL season by getting shutout by the San Francisco 49ers, 28-0. Losing on the road to a divisional rival isn’t surprising, but the Niners aren’t regarded as a good or even average team, so the fashion the Rams lost in week one was especially troubling.
A lot went into that loss, too, from poor defensive play, a lack of a running game, shaky offensive line play and bad coaching. However, what clearly took the cake was the atrocious play of quarterback Case Keenum, who turned the ball over twice and looked completely lost for nearly the entire contest.
Because of Keenum’s inability to evade pressure, read the defense or connect on easy throws, the Rams looked predictable and even confused during a truly embarrassing affair.
Nowhere to Run
Even worse? The Rams have two other quarterbacks in Sean Mannion and rookie would-be franchise passer Jared Goff on the roster, and neither could beat Keenum out ahead of week one.
Mannion couldn’t possibly be much worse, but like Keenum initially was projected to be, he’s also nothing more than a bridge option – one that would hopefully in the near future be handing the keys to the offense over to Goff, who the Rams traded a plethora of assets to go up to the #1 spot and get in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Goff Isn’t Ready
Forcing Goff into the fire is a two-sided blade, as he did not look anywhere near ready during preseason action and reports suggest he still hasn’t digested a complicated L.A. playbook.
There are other concerns with Goff’s slight frame and his confidence level. Due to that, it’s tough to knock the argument that tossing Goff into the fire could be a terrible move that backfires and leads to stunted growth and possibly severely hinders his development.
We’ve seen the baptism by fire go both ways in the past. Peyton Manning wasn’t great during his rookie season, but he figured things out as he went and eventually won Super Bowls and broke NFL records. There are other cases like guys like Tim Couch, JaMarcus Russell and of course Ryan Leaf, however, who were pressed into a system and situation they simply weren’t ready for, nor did they have the coaching or supporting cast to help them keep their heads above water.
Needless to say, judging by Keenum’s regrettable performance, it’s quite possible – if not a guarantee – that Goff would be thrown into a very similar lose-lose situation.
With Goff not ready and the Rams going nowhere, it doesn’t feel like the Rams are going to turn to him anytime soon – nor should they. Head coach Jeff Fisher has been infamous for drowning teams in mediocrity, but there have been whispers he didn’t even want Goff.
Whether Fisher is tied to Goff or not isn’t the issue. One way or another, he’s actually doing right by Goff and the entire team by not using a guy who would not do the offense any good and could also hinder his long-term upside.
For now, Keenum is the guy the Rams are looking to under center, and when the time does come for a change, Mannion – not Goff – would surely be the first to get a crack at taking over.
Jared Goff Over/Under Starts
That does bring us to when/if Goff eventually starts under center for the Rams, of course. With one game out of the way and Keenum again slated to start going into week two, we know for sure the over/under number is lower than 12. With Mannion looking to be the next guy up after Keenum, we can lower that number considerably.
At least, that’s what we thought.
Jared Goff named backup QB for the Rams vs Seattle. pic.twitter.com/S9P8E1fOIr
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 16, 2016
With news breaking that Goff would be the top backup going into week two, he’s one step closer to getting that evasive start. That doesn’t mean Goff will start in week three or even see the field anytime soon, but if Keenum continues to play poorly, Goff’s opportunity only draws closer.
That puts the over-under at 8 games and given how bad Keenum is and how little we think of Mannion as a bridge option, it makes sense for Goff to see over 8 starts in his rookie season. It might not be as planned and it probably won’t go well, but Goff is ultimately the future of this team and it makes sense to get his feet wet for half the year – much more than not at all.
Half a season isn’t a ton of experience, but it should be enough to get Goff ready for the 2017 season.
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