Rams, Jared Goff hope to heat up again in Arizona desert

THOUSAND OAKS – Now when Jared Goff needs to get back into a comfort zone, he’s going to the right place.

Glendale, Ariz., Where the Rams will face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, has been the site of three consecutive Rams wins since Goff entered the league. The Rams are 6-0 against the Cardinals since Goff and Coach Sean McVay teamed up. The offense in those six games was (when was the last time you heard this?) Consistent, the Rams scored more than 30 points each time.

Goff vs. Arizona is (will you sit down?) Reliable, threw 10 touchdown passes and only three interceptions, one clumsy.

Each of the past two Decembers, Goff and the Rams went to Arizona and got on well at tough times in the season.

This week, the Rams (7-4) want to use the game against the Cardinals (6-5) to come back from a 23-20 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in which Goff had two interceptions and a fumble.

That won’t be easy against an improved Cardinals pass defense with safety Budda Baker and cornerback Patrick Peterson.

But it is something to strive for.

McVay recalled Goff’s 400-meter passing performance in a 34-7 win in Arizona in 2019 as a case where the quarterback “was a great point guard, distributed the ball, and efficient on third downs.”

“Those are the things we’re looking for,” said McVay. ‘And he did that in leaps and bounds this year. It’s not a matter of “Is he capable of that?” It’s just a matter of ‘Let’s be more consistent’. ”

Goff’s strong performance in victories over Seattle and Tampa Bay was accompanied by four turnovers in a loss against Miami and three in the loss against San Francisco. McVay was unusually blunt in criticizing Goff on Sunday and Monday. The coach said he knew the fifth-year pro could handle it.

Goff said of McVay on Wednesday: “If he was wrong, I would think otherwise. He is absolutely right. I’m a big boy, I can handle it. We have a great relationship. I am responsible for myself. I must be better than that. I need to take better care of football. ”

The famously even Goff admitted the loss was a blow to the 49ers.

“I was certainly not in a happy place for the next 24 hours. But you go further. We have a big game this week, ”he said.

McVay said on Wednesday that he “probably did our boys a disservice” by saying cancel the training two days before the 49ers race due to a COVID-19 scare at the Rams facility and high wind issues in Thousand Oaks.

With the persistent high winds, the Rams have moved Thursday’s practice to SoFi Stadium.

“Anytime we can get out of this wind and get to an area where we can work on some casts, it definitely helps,” Goff said.

A year ago, Goff headed to Arizona after not throwing a touchdown pass in November and started a strong last month with a season-best score of 120.7 passers-by in that December 1 game.

On Sunday, he will head to Arizona after making 10 turnovers in the last four games of the Rams.

“You hope it stays that way,” said Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury of Goff’s sales trend. “But a player like Goff, when he’s having a rough day, you usually think he’ll come back and play well because that’s the type of competitor he is and that’s kind of his track record.

“They’ve had huge offensive days against us for the past three seasons. We know what level he can play at, and that is the level we expect to reach. ”


Injury News: Sean McVay said he expects linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo to be activated this week after missing six games with an elbow sprain. Linebacker Terrell Lewis (knee), who missed the 49ers game, didn’t train and is staying week to week, in McVay’s words. The defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day (hip) was limited in practice. … Left tackle Andrew Whitworth said his left knee is recovering well, but “we’ll see” if he can return before the end of the season. “Most everyone in the health profession that I tell you I already walk and do things like that is pretty shocked,” Whitworth said. “For what I can control now, we have done well, we’ve kicked a lot so far. We will see what happens next. The two-time All-Pro, who turns 39 on December 12, was expected to miss six to eight weeks after rupturing his MCL and PCL in week 10 of the 17-week season. Joe Noteboom has started the past two games. ..

Speaking at a Zoom press conference Tuesday, Whitworth announced a total of $ 750,000 in donations from Rams players to 25 nonprofits in greater LA focused on social justice in education, criminal justice, housing and other areas. The effort, debated since the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police, was staged by Whitworth, defensive linemen Joseph-Day and Michael Brockers, and punter Johnny Hekker. “I think it has meant a lot to our boys and a lot to our organization to have a significant stake,” said Whitworth. “This is just the beginning in my opinion.” Joseph-Day said players “hope to make impactful change in the LA community and hopefully influence other teams and other professional sports to do the same.”