49ers vs. Rams: Quarterback Comparison
While the Rams offense, even their passing game, has been potent for much of 2018, one can’t say quarterback Jared Goff has been at the top of his efforts this season.
Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t been perfect, either, although one could make the argument he’s been far more effective under center than his NFC West counterpart.
Especially in the turnover department.
True, Garoppolo and the 49ers have played one less game than Los Angeles, so the difference in stats has to be taken with an asterisk. That said, where do the advantages and disadvantages reside with each signal-caller?
While his numbers aren’t exactly indicative of a true franchise elite, Garoppolo is still completing 69 percent of his passes, which is good enough for seventh entering this contest. His 99.4 passer rating ranks 12th overall, and Jimmy G’s 7-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio is solid, if not quite spectacular.
At least he cut down on the turnovers in San Francisco’s dominant Week 5 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Without fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who is out with a knee injury, Kyle Shanahan might have to rely more on the passing game, asking Garoppolo to execute a higher number of those short- and intermediate-area attempts in which he excels.
Goff is currently tied for second most interceptions thrown on the season with seven — a number matching the amount of touchdowns he’s tossed on the year.
The Rams are asking Goff to throw a lot this season, an element mentioned on the previous slide, and the results have been so-so at best: a 63.1 completion percentage (22nd) and an 83.0 passer rating (25th).
One of the reasons behind the struggles could be a fundamental shift away from one of Goff’s biggest strengths.
Los Angeles is using its No. 1 running back, Todd Gurley, differently this season. He’s no longer the workhorse, and a quad injury might keep him out of Sunday’s contest anyway. When Gurley was at his peak, the Rams could call for play action all day — a facet in which Goff thrives.
Last year, during the Rams’ high-octane offense days, Goff’s passer rating on play-action attempts was 115.0, according to Pro Football Focus, compared to 93.2 without it.
So far in 2019, the play-action attempts haven’t been anywhere near as successful, as his rating is 69.8 on these kinds of attempts.
When teams don’t bite on the play fake, Goff struggles.