THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — 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…