Goff makes good on promise to Rams fans with playoff run

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Jared Goff hadn’t even been in the NFL for a full year when he stood at a podium in the Coliseum and took responsibility for the latest in the Rams’ long line of miserable seasons.

“I promise you guys it will get fixed,” the 22-year-old quarterback said after Los Angeles blew a late lead against the woeful 49ers and dropped to 4-11 on Christmas Eve 2016 . “(I’ll do) everything in my heart and soul to get it all fixed.”

Just look at him now. One year later, Goff has already made good on his word in spectacular fashion — albeit with the help of a new coaching staff, a new left tackle and a bunch of new receivers.

The Rams (11-5) are a team transformed as they head into the first playoff game in 13 years on Saturday night against Atlanta (10-6). Goff is leading the way after putting up 3,804 yards and 28 TD passes, but he claims to be only one part of a remarkable machine built by first-year coach Sean McVay.

With the defending NFC champions visiting the Coliseum on a short week of preparation, Goff and the Rams aren’t wasting time deciding who’s responsible for one of the most remarkable single-season resurgences in recent NFL history.

“We want to go out there and operate the same way we would weekly,” Goff said Tuesday. “It makes no difference that we’re in the playoffs now. It is a little bit more meaning to it, but we want to treat it the same.”

The Rams already have secured their first winning season and division title since 2003. They’ve matched the franchise’s best record in LA since 1978 and improved by a whopping seven wins on last year’s total. They did it all even while resting their starters and essentially conceding a loss in last weekend’s regular season finale against San Francisco.

This franchise hasn’t hosted a playoff game in the Los Angeles area since Jan. 4, 1986 — nearly nine years before Goff was born, and 20 days before the 31-year-old McVay was born.

“Until you take a step back (to see) what this team has done such a nice job with, you can’t fully appreciate the journey,” McVay said. “You try to, every now and then, enjoy it and not get so caught up in the moment that you can’t enjoy the experiences as you’re going on that journey.”

Goff is getting his first post-season experience this weekend when he faces Matt Ryan, the former MVP making his sixth post-season appearance in 10 years. After everything Goff has accomplished in the year since he vowed to fix the Rams, this latest challenge doesn’t appear to intimidate him.

“I think more than anything, it’s a big game,” Goff said. “What’s what it boils down to, and I think we do have experience in that stuff. We played a big game in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. We played a big game two weeks ago against Tennessee. We played a big game against the Eagles. We played a big game against Minnesota, against New Orleans. … Every play has a little bit more meaning to it.”

Just six Rams have playoff experience, including left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who went six times with the Cincinnati Bengals. When asked about the importance of playoff experience, Whitworth only laughed, saying he is “0-fer” — or 0-6 in post-season games.

“Even when I was in Cincinnati, the big games throughout the season were what prepared us to go to the playoffs,” Whitworth said. “As crazy an amount as this team has travelled, and the schedule we’ve gone through, I don’t see a scenario where I would in any way give us (excuses). Everywhere we have to go, we’ve gone and played well. We just need to go out and execute and play well.”

NOTES: Pro Bowl kick returner Pharoh Cooper missed practice after injuring his shoulder during last weekend’s loss to San Francisco. McVay isn’t overly worried: “I think it’s going to take a lot to keep him out of this game. I anticipate him being able to go, unless there are some setbacks throughout the course of the week. … Backup DB Blake Countess also missed practice with a concussion, while LB Mark Barron was limited by his Achilles’ tendon injury.

Just Posted

Cannabis facility proposed for Clearwater County

Cannabis production facility proposed south of Caroline would produce 30,000 kg of cannabis a year

Two Central Alberta country singers are finalists in career-launching contest

They will attend music industry ‘boot camp’ this summer

Transit changes to aid Burman University students

An additional evening trip and student bus passes to be in place by fall

WATCH: Province, Maskwacis Cree Nations sign educational agreement

Funding and support will help the First Nations develop a Cree-based curriculum

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates World Refugee Day

The Central Alberta Refugee Effort hosted multiple events around Red Deer Wednesday

Red Deer high school student psyched for SHAD

Lindsay Thurber’s Kaden Nivens will head to Newfoundland for the annual program in July

Red Deer College team tackles lack of Indigneous inclusion in research projects

A local college research team has completed a lengthy project examining the… Continue reading

Officials make case against parents accused of child abuse

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Prosecutors made their case Wednesday against a Southern California… Continue reading

Manitoba educational assistant sentenced to 3 1/5 years for sex with student

WINNIPEG — A former educational assistant in Winnipeg has been sentenced to… Continue reading

Conservatives can ‘win anywhere,’ Scheer says in welcoming Richard Martel

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed the newest member of his… Continue reading

Fans grieve as detectives search for XXXTentacion’s killers

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — For hours, the fans came in a steady… Continue reading

Canadian steel not a national security threat on its own: US commerce secretary

OTTAWA — The U.S. commerce secretary says Canada is not a national… Continue reading

Camargo lifts Braves over Blue Jays with first career grand slam

Braves 11 Blue Jays 4 TORONTO — Jaime Garcia is searching for… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month