It might seem premature to rank Jared Goff’s place in history amongst Rams’ Qbs but quietly he’s already climbed pretty high by a few metrics. By virtue of the Rams having a history of very good quarterbacks but not necessarily great QBs, Goff’s place is high almost by default.
He’s already accomplished winning two NFC West titles and an NFC Championship despite having a historically bad rookie year (not entirely his fault). Legally, he’s statistically better than a few of the Rams’ more legendary quarterbacks but that’s obviously more to do with the league he plays in. So why does it feel like heresy to compare him to the other greats? Well, that has to do with the one area where Goff ranks low and that’s his love amongst fans.
Jared Goff’s approval rating these days is middling just based on anecdotal conversations and social media posts. On this site, there are multiple pieces about how he’s better than people think and that he can be THE GUY. That doesn’t happen if there’s a sense that fans have faith in their quarterback.
He seemed doomed from the jump because Les Snead gave a principal’s ransom to take him despite him not being designated a sure thing or someone for whom fans saw crush it on Saturdays at Cal. He seemed like the kind of quarterback draft analysts talked themselves into (ditto Carson Wentz) because there weren’t any visible stars at the position so they needed someone other than Ezekiel Elliott to be a STAR (yes Dak Prescott was in this draft BUT he wasn’t totally on the radar).
So, fans were already iffy on Jared Goff yet they still wanted him in while Case Keenum and Jeff Fisher’s Jurassic era offense stunk out the Coliseum. Now, Goff’s rookie year was obviously TERRIBLE by any metric. Was it all his fault? No. Goff got very little if any first-team reps in training camp because Jeff Fisher didn’t believe a rookie quarterback should get reps. Plus, Fisher wanted a vet that could win enough games to save his job (didn’t happen). Sean McVay came in a year later and salvaged him but that also didn’t help Goff’s standing because everyone just assumed it was all McVay.
In year three, Goff’s approval rating was at its highest (thus far), and yet the minute things went south, the harsh critiques came back. Even when he figured it out in the NFC Championship and helped lead them to a Super Bowl fans still were on the fence. And of course, last season he signed that mega-deal and when his play idled a bit fans wanted him out of town on a rail. It might seem impossible for him to be spoken of with the same reverence fans would speak of Vince Ferragamo or Jim Everett (which is akin to the way the people of Rock Ridge spoke of Randolph Scott) even though Goff is likely to play longer and put up better stats.
Despite all the negativity Jared Goff’s place is still so much better than any Rams quarterback in the last 30 years, with the exception of Kurt Warner or Jim Everett. He’s still so much better than a slew of quarterbacks that the Rams trotted out over the years. But unless he wins multiple Super Bowls and has multiple MVP seasons, he’s unlikely to reach the level of sentimental attachment the three aforementioned quarterbacks have.
It’s possible, however, given how much of a career he presumably has left and how great of an infrastructure he’ll have for the foreseeable future. All he can do to change his legacy is to continue to get better and keep winning.