After suffering their third consecutive loss on Sunday in London to the New York Giants, the Los Angeles Rams might require an alternative plan to save themselves from finishing with the same 7-9 record they did last season. That alternative plan for the LA Rams could involve giving rookie Jared Goff a chance as the team's starting quarterback.
Current Rams starting quarterback Case Keenum was responsible for four interceptions against the Giants on Sunday and now has seven picks during the three-game losing streak. Even when Keenum had 321 yards and three touchdowns, while stringing together 20 straight passes to set a franchise record in the game against the Lions on Oct. 16, the Rams still failed to net a win.
In the Rams-Giants press conference, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher stated that he's "staying with Case (Keenum)" and that "the quarterback's not the reason, by the way, that we lost three games." Giving Goff a chance this week in the game against the Carolina Panthers is almost a no-brainer, especially after the Rams moved up to the No.1 spot in the 2016 NFL draft to select the Cal Bears product to solidify their quarterback position for the future. Why attempt to preserve the potential of Goff at this critical juncture of the NFL season when your team needs a change at quarterback?
Other rookie quarterbacks, such as Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz and Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott, have been playing exceptionally well this season, and it's not entirely clear why Goff should not get a chance to do the same and attain some valuable first-year experience. Goff certainly did not look ready in preseason and the coaching staff has made that abundantly clear: he needed more time to learn the Rams' playbook. But Goff has been on the bench for the past two months where he's had time to learn the playbook and the NFL game. But learning the nuances and the difficulties of the quarterback position does not magically transpire while sitting on the bench. NFL rookies, particularly potential franchise cornerstone pieces who need to progress faster than others players as leaders, need playing time.
Even if, as some reports have suggested, that the Rams are afraid Goff might not succeed and are preserving him this season, there is no other way to know the value of a player unless you play him in live NFL action right away. There's certainly no denying it, the franchise is not facing an upward trajectory with a mediocre journeyman quarterback in Keenum. The potential of Goff is more important to the future of the franchise than Keenum's minutes.
Win or bust, Fisher will inevitably need to play Goff, and most people firmly believe this is the right time to do so. If Sunday’s loss in London wasn’t a wakeup call to Fisher than I don’t know what may be.The Rams' next four opponents (Carolina Panthers, the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints) have a combined 8-18 record. Playing Goff at this time will enable him to gain the valuable experience he needs against mediocre teams.
Scott hails from Southern California where he graduated with a degree in Journalism. He just relocated from WeHo to NYC but misses L.A. already. When he is not writing about sports or watching games he can be found pretending to be a bouncer at various NY hot spots just so he can turn people away. Follow him on Twitter @slevy92