Rams QB Jared Goff in for a tough time against Patriots
Jared Goff is expecting a cold reception, in more ways than one, Sunday when he leads the Rams into Foxborough, still looking for his first NFL win.
Goff has had a difficult baptism in his rookie debut, leading an offence with limited weapons and little muscle. And, now the California-born-and-bred quarterback faces the cold fact that he will be up against a 9-2 Super Bowl contender, in a hostile environment, on a cold New England day with temperatures predicted to dip into the low 20s F.
There is also the cold reality of facing Tom Brady, who will be looking for his 201st NFL victory to surpass the record he currently shares with Peyton Manning.
About the only thing Goff has going his way is that Brady will have to accomplish the milestone without tight end Rob Gronkowski, sidelined after undergoing back surgery.
“I’ve played in a bunch of cold weather,” Goff said, referring to collegiate games in Washington, Oregon and Utah.
But so far, he hasn’t weathered well in the NFL. He has already lost in a downpour in his season debut three weeks ago and last week experienced the mind-numbing noise at the New Orleans Superdome. It doesn’t get any easier against a Patriots team that has won 83% of regular-season home games since 2001.
Admittedly, just sharing the field with Brady will be a boyhood dream come to life. Goff, now 22, was six years old when Brady won his first Super Bowl. “I’ve been a big fan of his growing up,” said Goff, who grew up about 80 km from Brady’s north California home in San Mateo County. “Obviously, he’s one of the greats — if not the greatest.”
With games against Drew Brees, Brady this week, followed by Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson, this is Goff’s version of football graduate school.
“He’s really good at everything, has been for a long time,” Goff said of Brady. “Of course, there are little things that I’ll watch in him, Drew, Peyton … that I’ll take from (them) and have in the past, as well.”
With Gronkowski sidelined, coach Bill Belichick, in usual taciturn fashion, said the club would continue to do “what we do every week” to prepare, but Brady admitted the absence of Gronkowski, who is averaging 21.6 yards per catch, will be felt.
“It doesn’t help losing great players,” Brady told his weekly radio show. “And to not have Gronk out there — one of our best players and most dependable, consistent players — makes things challenging for us. But that’s what the NFL season is about. It’s about overcoming challenges.
“We have a lot of good players that are going to need to fill the void, and it’s a big void. But I don’t think that any of us are going to give up on what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Talk about taunting. It could be suggested that President-elect Donald Trump should be called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
In the lead-up to the U.S. election, the NFL ratings took an October slide, with Trump at the time crediting his, own, uhhmm … notoriety, as well as blaming Colin Kaepernick’s anthem sitdown.
Now Trump, on what amounts to a Raised Finger Tour (you figure out which finger), is gloating again about his own greatness at being able to send America’s most popular sport into a TV tailspin.
“Their ratings were so far down,” Trump said at a rally, sounding much like a trash-talking linebacker standing over his latest sack victim. “And you know what the reason was? Because this business is tougher than the NFL … Their ratings were down 20-21%, and it was because of us.”
Hmmm. The NFL is a business. And, wasn’t Trump all about supporting American industry? This couldn’t have anything to do with Trump being denied access to the rich-boy’s club when he lost his bid for ownership of the Bills? Or, the fact as an owner in the now defunct USFL, he sued the NFL? Trump has backers inside NFL locker rooms, but he also has had an adversarial relationship with the league.
Psst! Newsflash! This just in: Dallas-Minny game delivers an average of 22.2 million viewers on all platforms, and 21.8 on TV only — the highest number of viewers ever for a Thursday night.
Observation: Poor Donald. The guy hasn’t even been inaugurated yet and already he’s losing his touch.
SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO …
Another day; another officiating gaffe.
Thursday, Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass with 25 seconds to play, but the Vikings two -point conversion pass failed — just like the officiating on the play.
Bradford argued for a penalty after he was hit in the facemask by Cedric Thornton, but there was no call, letting Dallas escape with a 17-15 win.
“I’m sick and tired of the reffing in this league right now,” Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. “I’m sick and tired of it. You’ve got holding calls all over the place that people don’t want to call. Bradford gets hit in the face at the end of the game and you don’t call it? I’m not laying this loss on reffing, but at some point it’s got to get better.”
Or, maybe it doesn’t.
Maybe it just is, what it is.
Trevor Siemian (foot) didn’t practice Friday with the Broncos saying Paxton Lynch will start against Jacksonville … Washington tight end Jordan Reed (shoulder) has been ruled out Sunday … Indianapolis waived backup quarterback Stephen Morris, an indication Andrew Luck, who was meeting with an independent neurologist, is expected to be cleared from concussion protocol … A.J. Green says his hamstring injury isn’t as bad as feared and he hopes to return this year. “It was 50% torn,” Green said. “But it’s not bad, it’s not torn off the bone or nothing like that.” Guess it comes down to your definition of “bad” but if he can get back and get 36 more yards, he’d join Randy Moss as the only receiver with six 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career … Despite a broken foot, Bills’ Sammy Watkins will play Sunday. While Marquise Goodwin was at practice Friday after injuring his wrist Thursday, the team has ruled out wide receivers Robert Woods and Percy Harvin.