"We're fine," he told them. "Don't freak out."
The Rams, suddenly accustomed to scoring with ease, had managed only three field goals in 30 minutes against the lowly, injury-riddled Houston Texans. But Goff anticipated a turnaround. His offense had been too good -- he had been too good -- to suspect otherwise. Then he marched back onto the field and executed to perfection in what became a 33-7 triumph, the Rams' seventh win in a span of nine games.
In the third quarter alone, Goff threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns. By the end of it, he joined the New England Patriots' Tom Brady and the Kansas City Chiefs' Alex Smith as the only players to post multiple games with at least 300 passing yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Goff is the only player in franchise history to put up those numbers in back-to-back games.
Rams head coach Sean McVay continues to be impressed by Goff's "mental toughness," a character trait that became apparent to him the very first time he sat down with the starting quarterback.
"I put him in some bad spots, and I thought he just stayed together, stayed the course, didn't let whatever the previous plays that didn't work out for us affect his ability to move forward," McVay said. "And that's what he's done a really good job of throughout the course of the first nine games now. He's a mentally tough guy that's unfazed by the good or the bad."
The good is most prevalent now. Over his past three games, a stretch when his Rams have won by a combined 93 points, Goff is 61-of-96 for 901 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. He entered Sunday ranked 10th in the NFL in Total QBR, then went 25-of-37 for a career-high 355 yards, three touchdowns and, for the sixth time in nine games, zero interceptions.
And he keeps getting better in the places he is weakest, specifically when pressured and while throwing deep.
All three of Goff's touchdown passes, off play action, came against the Texans' blitz, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. All told, Goff threw 12 passes against the blitz. He completed 75 percent of them and averaged 15.4 yards per attempt, after completing 56.1 percent of his passes and averaging 8.7 yards per attempt against the blitz in his previous eight games.
Goff entered completing only 46.2 percent of passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield, ranked 24th in the NFL. He then went 0-for-4 on such throws in the first half, but 3-for-3 in the second half. The biggest was a 94-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods, seven days after a 67-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins. Goff now has four passing touchdowns of 50-plus yards this season, the most by a Rams player since Kurt Warner totaled seven in 2000.
With each passing week, McVay sees Goff's decision-making continue to grow.
"He continues to gain a grasp of exactly what we're trying to get done -- the intent of the playcalls, being that extension of the coaching staff," McVay said. "You feel very comfortable and confident to be able to put the game in his hands, and he's shown why."
Goff's 16 passing touchdowns this season are the most by a Rams quarterback through the first nine games since Warner had 17 in 2001, the year he won the MVP. Goff is only 23, coming off a disastrous rookie season while operating within what increasingly feels like an antiquated, talent-deprived offense. But he's on pace for 4,240 passing yards and has thrown 12 more touchdowns than interceptions.
But each week, it seems, the game slows down just a little bit more for Goff, and his belief grows with it.
"Any time you come into a next level of any sport, it does take some years to let it slow down, some experience, and it's continued to do that," Goff said. "I'm continuing to see things better and see more and be able to understand more and more. I think it's a credit to the coaching staff and the way they've handled not only myself, but the whole offense the whole year. Right now we're in a good spot."