File this one under “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”
Jared Goff – predictably – has been getting beat up after the Los Angeles Rams’ galling 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Granted, the Rams’ QB did not have a golden day, fumbling the ball once and being intercepted twice as his team saw its record fall to 7-4 and drop out of first place in the NFC West.
Less than a week after Goff led the Rams to a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by legend-in-his-own time Tom Brady, the Sideline Experts have started baying for his horns.
In the famous words of Aaron Rodgers, “R-E-L-A-X.” Folks seem to be forgetting that the Rams’ defense had something to do with the loss. It allowed the 49ers to get into position to kick the game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould as time ran out.
Now, let’s rewind the tape on those closing moments. The 49ers were facing a somewhat problematic 47-yard kick. Gould had missed a 50-yard attempt earlier. But as the teams lined up, a Ram rusher jumped the gun and charged into the San Fran backfield. The ensuing penalty moved the ball five yards closer, and Gould’s kick cleared the crossbar – arguably – by about two yards.
Football is always a game of inches. The defense handed the Niners five yards and everyone else is giving Goff the bird. There was plenty of blame to go around, and not all of it was wearing number 16.
The Rams will visit Arizona (6-5) on Sunday.
THE NFL: The Rams’ misery is about losing ground in the playoff race, but the Los Angeles Chargers’ agony is about facing another losing season.
Despite another strong performance by Justin Herbert (316 yards and a touchdown), the Bolts came loose and they lost 27-17 to the Buffalo Bills and saw their record fall to 3-8 and last place in the AFC West.
The Chargers will host the New England Patriots (5-6) on Sunday.
Unlike with the Rams, you can’t place the blame on the QB in this game. The Chargers’ running game is almost non-existent, and some of the play-calling and time management by Coach Anthony Lynn on Sunday suggested a systemic problem.
Of course, it’s discouraging. “People are upset,” said Hebert. “Losing’s tough.”
But not as tough as it was for the Denver Broncos. With all four quarterbacks on the COVID-19 list, they had to recycle a reserve wide receiver (Kendall Hinton, who had played some quarterback at Wake Forest) into the team’s signal caller.
He did his best, which is to say he didn’t do well at all. He completed one of nine passes for 12 yards and was intercepted twice in a 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
OVERTIME: Because of the effects of the coronavirus on NFL rosters, the Pittsburgh-Baltimore game has been moved to Tuesday night.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: The big … well, relatively big matchup between USC and Colorado for first place in the Pac-12’s South Division was a bust as the game was cancelled because of – what else? – coronavirus concerns. It won’t be rescheduled.
However, the Buffaloes were able to pick up a non-conference game and defeated San Diego State 20-10 to improve overall to 3-0.
USC (3-0) will be back in action Sunday against Washington State (1-1).
UCLA, on the other hand, did get to play, and played well, bonking Arizona (0-3) by scored of 27-10. The Bruins (2-2) were led by running back Demetric Felton, who rushed for 206 yards and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 24 yards.
At quarterback, Chase Griffin completed 12 of 20 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Next up for the Westwood crew will be a game Saturday at Arizona State (0-1).
One of the biggest stories from college grid action was Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller becoming the first woman to play in a Power 5 (the five conferences considered the elite of university football) game.
She kicked off the second half for the Commodores. Her boot was historic but not Homeric, getting only to the Missouri 35-yard line. The Tigers won 41-0.
Still it was sort of trailblazing, and may not be the last of its kind.
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