When Does McVay Pull Pin On Goff?

Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Jared Goff. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | The LAFB Network
Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Jared Goff. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | The LAFB Network

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is seen by many as the catalyst of the Rams’ return to relevance (quarterback Jared Goff predates him but he was 0-7 in his only season without him). McVay is one of the most powerful people in the Rams’ organization. Now, in 2019 and 2020, McVay has wanted to pass the ball more but Jared Goff has been struggling to accommodate his wishes. What happens now?

When Does McVay Pull Pin On Goff?

The Power Of McVay

The head coach before Sean McVay, Jeff Fisher, was the head coach for five seasons. In those five seasons, Fisher went 31-45. On the other hand, Sean McVay has gone 38-18 in the last three and a half seasons. Ever since Head Coach Mike Martz left the team in 2005, the team went 66-137-1 in the following 12 years. McVay has so much more power than a typical winning head coach since it had been so long since the team was good. In the end, what McVay says, goes.

McVay’s Change

The young coach’s first two years saw him start with the run in order to set up play-action passes for massive gains. However, in year three, he started more with the pass. In 2017 and 2018 the Rams ranked 23rd and 24th in the number of passing plays called. In 2019, McVay’s third year, the Rams ranked 8th in passing plays. In 2020, Jared Goff has only thrown the ball less than 30 times in a game one time.

Put simply, McVay wants to pass more in spite of the fact that the team was playing better when running the ball more. Jared Goff has been unable to succeed when called upon to do more through the air. Since this change in play calling in 2019, Goff has thrown 35 touchdowns and 22 interceptions with 19 of those games ending with a QBR below 80. If this keeps up, it seems to be only a matter of time until McVay decides to move on, regardless of what was executed well in years past.

Sentiments And Other Factors

The young coach has his own arguably personal reasons to move on from Goff as well. McVay’s underling was Zac Taylor who is now the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Taylor inherited McVay’s style of offense and picked quarterback Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow is essentially matching Goff’s current production in his rookie season with fewer weapons. Burrow has thrown 11 touchdowns and five interceptions and his offense are 20th in points per game. At the time of this writing, he is also 8th in the league in passing yards. Burrow is working with running back Joe Mixon (who may hit 1,000 yards this season) and receivers Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and A.J. Green. Tee Higgins is a rookie and A.J. Green has had injury issues and has not had a 1000-yard season since 2016.

As for Jared Goff, he has thrown 13 touchdowns and six interceptions and his offense is 21st in points per game. This season, he has receivers Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Josh Reynolds in addition to tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett as well as running back Darrell Henderson. Last season, Goff had Brandin Cooks in addition to these players and even performed worse than what Joe Burrow has been capable of this season. If someone were to compare the two, it is not even close as to who is a better choice at this moment. 

Also, in the back of McVay’s mind, he knows that he did not have a say in drafting Jared Goff as Goff was picked in Jeff Fisher’s final season. McVay could be thinking that if he were to have the same ability to get a fresh quarterback as his protege Zac Taylor did, his team would be much better off. This is even more likely considering how he picked Brandon Staley to be the defensive coordinator this season and even as a rookie coach, the Rams have a defense that is ranked 2nd overall compared to 13th in 2019 with Wade Phillips. Considering how well Staley has worked out, McVay could have a boost of confidence that could help tip the scales on a change at quarterback sooner rather than later.

Additionally, McVay could also look at the Kansas City Chiefs, who were a perennial playoff contender with a great offense who decided to draft Patrick Mahomes and replace Alex Smith despite the relative success they were having with Smith.

“…McVay knows the Chiefs were in a similar situation as the Rams, replaced their quarterback, and became a Superteam.”

Put Simply

To sum up, Head Coach Sean McVay is extremely powerful in the Rams organization because he is credited with resurrecting a struggling franchise. While he used to run the ball more, he has decided that he wants to pass more instead in spite of his early success by running the ball. Unfortunately for quarterback Jared Goff, he has been struggling to accommodate the change for an extended period of time.

Meanwhile, McVay is likely keeping an eye on his protege Zac Taylor as he has early success with his own fresh rookie quarterback Joe Burrow who is performing at Jared Goff’s level with a fraction of the weapons. Also, after the early success of hiring a new rookie defensive coordinator, McVay has a boost in confidence in choosing the right rookie personnel.

Additionally, McVay knows that Goff wasn’t chosen by him and one of the only pieces remaining from the Jeff Fisher era seems to be the biggest piece holding back the offense he wants. Lastly, McVay knows the Chiefs were in a similar situation as the Rams, replaced their quarterback, and became a Superteam. Put simply, in the mind of McVay, the reasons for a change are stacking up quickly. How much longer does Goff truly have?