It’s undeniable, the Los Angeles Rams struggled in 2020 at the quarterback position. While it wasn’t a struggle every week, plenty of games the Rams lost could be pinpointed to the quarterback’s direction.
Normally I would just mention Jared Goff, but John Wolford has a hand in the 2020 season too. Guys like Blake Bortles and Bryce Perkins won’t be mentioned because they didn’t contribute much other than being a sidelines presence on occasion.
QB Jared Goff: Grade D+
3,952 passing yard, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 58.5 QBR.
There’s no easy way to put this, but we all expected more of Goff entering his fifth year in the league. That’s not to say Goff did terrible the entire year. In fact, Goff performed relatively well in the playoffs considering he was playing through a broken thumb on his throwing hand. In the playoffs he completely 30 of 46 pass attempts for 329 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Not mind-blowing stats, but pretty solid considering the circumstances.
No one should question Goff’s toughness or dedication. That said, it’s becoming more and more clear that he may not be the right fit in this current offensive scheme. That doesn’t necessarily make him a bad quarterback, but Goff is very much a “system quarterback.” He will never really be considered an elite QB or a fiery leader.
We basically witnessed Goff’s struggles and lack of leadership in games against the Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets. It’s one thing to have bad games, but it’s another thing to make poor decisions. When you begin questioning how Goff constantly loses the ball in poor decisions, there is a serious problem.
It also doesn’t help that Goff and head coach Sean McVay appear to be on different planets, much less the same football field. If recent reports are any indication it seems both Goff and McVay didn’t see eye-to-eye the entire season. That would make sense since this is by far, Goff’s worse season under McVay.
Considering Goff’s decline and his relationship with complicating matters entering the 2021 season, a D+ is warranted. His struggles were below an average QB. His toughness is about the only thing that shined in 2020. That’s not what you want to see from your franchise QB.
QB John Wolford: Grade B+
231 passing yards, 0 touchdowns, one interception and a 74.7 QBR.
It’s rare to have a backup quarterback provide an offensive spark instead of your starting QB. To be fair, Wolford only started in one regular season game. But what an impact he made. He didn’t put up huge numbers, but because of his capabilities as a dual-threat quarterback, Wolford allowed McVay to dig into his playbook a little more.
In Week 17, it was the first time all season where McVay looked creative once again. His success inspired McVay to start him again in the Wild Card against the Seahawks. Unfortunately for Woldford, he suffered a neck injury early on and it also kept him out the divisional round against the Green Bay Packers.
Now, why such a high grade? Let’s be clear, I’m not certain Wolford could be the starter in 2021. However, Wolford is exactly the kind of backup any team can ask for. He wasn’t perfect, but for his first start in the NFL, he looks competent enough for the Rams to be comfortable with their back QB moving forward.