Moving on from Miami: Rams' Jared Goff ready for division rival Seahawks

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff smiled, sighed and then began to chuckle during his weekly news conference.

It wasn't clear if his emotion was purely out of annoyance or to emphasize the point he was about to make regarding an embarrassing Week 8 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

"I've had the reflection of Miami for a long time ago and you guys are the first I've heard of it in about a week now," Goff said, grinning, as a reporter asked a third question related to the 28-17 defeat in which Goff had four first-half turnovers. "So, I was trying to really get rid of it and I had time to reflect on it, got better from it, we all did, and feel good moving forward."

Miami was the low point of the season for Goff, who completed 35 of 61 passes for 355 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions and strip sacks against the Dolphins, who often utilized zero pressures and potentially provided a blueprint for future opponents.

But Goff, now in his fifth season, insists that performance is not a reflection of his, or the offense's, ability.

"I just keep being me," Goff said. "Just keep working, keep getting better. Obviously, that game didn't go the way we wanted it to, but you're going to have those, and you try to limit them, but just bounce back and be myself."

Goff says he was able to disconnect and “kind of recharge the batteries" during the Week 9 bye.

The Rams (5-3) will need as much juice as possible to power them through the second half of the season against a remaining schedule that ranks as the NFL's fourth most difficult, according to ESPN analytics. It starts Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks (6-2), who have a one-game lead in the NFC West over the Rams and Arizona Cardinals (5-3).

If recent history is any indication, Sunday's matchup (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox) could be a thriller. Four of the past six games between the Rams and Seahawks have been decided by one score.

"Me and Russell [Wilson] have had our fair share of shootouts," said Goff, who is 4-2 against the Seahawks since 2017, when Sean McVay took over as Rams coach. "If that's the case, we'll be ready, but I've got a lot of faith in our defense and I know that they do, too."

The Seahawks' offense, led by Wilson, leads the NFL in scoring, averaging 34.3 points per game. The Rams' defense, however, is allowing an average of 19 points per game, which ranks second.

After a fast start, the Rams' offense has recently slowed. The Rams averaged 27.2 points through their first five games, but 19 in their past three as Goff's QBR plummeted in that span from 76.2 (ranked 12th through five games) to 45.6 (27th the last three games).

"There's a lot of things that we can do just at a more consistent, more explosive level that is indicative and reflective of the caliber of offense that I think we're capable of being," McVay said.

The Rams rank sixth in total offense, averaging 396.4 yards per game. They are averaging 137.8 rushing yards (seventh) and 258.6 passing yards (13th).

McVay says turnovers, handling pressure and consistency have been among points of emphasis as they prepare for a Seahawks defense that features veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner, safety Jamal Adams and recently acquired edge rusher Carlos Dunlap.

As for what he wants to see from Goff against the Seahawks, McVay says it's no different than any other week.

"Consistently making good decisions, distributing the ball to the skilled players, getting us in and out of the right looks based on whether we're running it or throwing the football and taking better care of it overall," McVay said.

After several uncharacteristic missed connections with Goff over the past few weeks, wide receiver Cooper Kupp -- Goff's go-to target on third down -- expressed confidence that they can reestablish a rhythm.

"We'll communicate so that when mistakes are made as we move forward, we get those similar looks or we get something that we can take advantage of, that we are thinking along those same lines,” said Kupp, who has caught a team-high 48 passes for 527 yards and two touchdowns.

Sunday could provide an opportunity for Goff and the offense to regain traction.

The Seahawks have allowed 2,897 passing yards through eight games, which surpasses the most passing yards allowed in NFL history through a team's first nine games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Seahawks also have allowed 3,646 total yards this season, which is the second most yards allowed through a team's first eight games in NFL history, according to Elias.

"We've had a nice week to recharge," Goff said. "We're back now, we've got a big game against the leader in this division right now and a game that we're excited to get out and go get after it. It'll be a challenge for us, but it's a fun one and we're excited for it."