Was all set to write a fascinating summary of Saturday’s college basketball action, then around 10pm, news broke of a blockbuster trade in the NFL, and it involved the Rams, so I opened up a cold bottle of Sierra Mist as my head spun around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
I could write about this for the next two days, but you’d probably get bored reading it, so I’ll try and keep it to the essential points. I won’t succeed, but I’ll try.
— November 1, 2008 I was at a Tennessee-South Carolina game in Columbia; we tailgated in a field and watched college games all afternoon on big-screen TV tucked in luggage compartment of a Winnebago- it was a very excellent day, an hour of which was spent debating the merits of Matthew Stafford as a quarterback— he was in his last year at Georgia.
My friend didn’t (probably still doesn’t) like Stafford as a QB; I was in his corner, and now, 12 years later, he is the Rams’ QB, my team’s quarterback. Hope I was right back then.
— By the way, we had Church’s Fried Chicken that day, the absolute best fried chicken I’ve ever had. They have a couple Church’s stores in Las Vegas; it is worth a cab ride to get some.
— Stafford-for-Goff is the first player-for-player trade this century involving players who were both taken first overall in an NFL Draft, Stafford in 2009, Goff seven years later.
— Detroit’s new GM is Brad Holmes, who had been the Rams’ director of scouting. Because Holmes is a minority, the Rams got two 3rd-round picks when he was named Detroit’s GM— one of those now goes back to the Lions, as part of this deal.
— Six other teams were trying to acquire Stafford; the Rams didn’t have a first round pick this year, so they kicked in two 1st-round picks (2022, 2023), plus that 3rd-round pick.
— Remember this phrase: salary cap relief. Goff’s contract is way heavier than Stafford’s, and the Rams have several other (good) players they’d like to keep— this deal will let them do that.
— A summation of the QB’s records:
— Stafford is 74-93-1 as an NFL starter, 0-3 in playoff games.
— Goff is 44-30 as an NFL starter, 2-3 in playoff games, but he also won the Seattle playoff game a few weeks ago, in relief.
— Only 14 QB’s have started a Super Bowl in their first three years in the NFL; Goff was #13.
— Lions visit SoFi Stadium next fall; I’m guessing that’ll be a Monday night game.
— Last time the Rams had a first round pick was 2016, when they took Goff. Now, the next first round pick they have is 2024; they traded for Goff, Brandin Cooks, Jalen Ramsey and now Stafford. GM Les Snead likes to trade picks for known quantities— seeing how the Rams are 46-27 the last four years, I’d say Les Snead is doing a damn fine job, and so is coach McVay.
— Speaking of which, think about this: the quarterback has a radio in his helmet, and that voice is in his ear every play, until the play clock hits 0:15, For the last four years, the voice in Goff’s ear was McVay, who is known as a quarterback guru.
The last time McVay wasn’t in Goff’s ear, things didn’t go so well, but he was a rookie back then, and now he has a good body of work behind him. Former Chargers’ coach Anthony Lynn is Detroit’s new offensive coordinator.
— Goff doesn’t like cold weather, and Chicago/Green Bay (Lions’ NFC North rivals) have outdoor stadiums, where it gets cold late in the season. Really cold.
— Stafford’s 0-3 career playoff record raises eyebrows: here are the games:
2011— L45-28 @ New Orleans. Was 28-43/380 passing, with 3 TD’s, 2 INT’s.
2014— L24-20 @ Dallas. Was 28-42/323 passing, with one TD, one INT in his hometown.
2016— L26-6 @ Seattle. Was 18-32/205 passing. Game was 10-6 after three quarters.
— Hopefully next December, I’ll be worrying about his playoff record, because that’ll mean the Rams made the playoffs.
— An obscure and hopefully irrelevant detail: Goff’s father played major league baseball, and Jared Goff is a big SF Giants fan, which means he dislikes the Dodgers, which isn’t a really great thing for LA’s quarterback. Now he isn’t LA’s quarterback anymore.
When Matthew Stafford was a high school QB in Texas, the center he took snaps from was a kid named Clayton Kershaw, who is now a great pitcher for the Dodgers. So at least now the Rams’ quarterback will throw out the first pitch at a Dodger game.