The Los Angeles Rams traded up to draft quarterback Jared Goff in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the team is playing their cards close to the vest with regard to his starting status. Case Keenum started in their first preseason game, but Goff is expected to get first team playing time this weekend.
The team is not declaring a starter yet, but NFL analyst Steve Wyche thinks Goff is on track to start the team’s Week 1 matchup with our San Francisco 49ers. My guess is the team will not make an announcement until after Week 3 at the earliest, but whomever ends up starting, it should happen not too long after that penultimate preseason game.
The Rams are a two-point favorite over the 49ers at this point. Even without a starter in place, the oddsmakers recognize that there is a good chance Goff is starting that game. The Rams defense and running back Todd Gurley will both be a big help to the rookie quarterback. I get why they are favored over the 49ers. Perception is not good for San Francisco, and given the quarterback situation, I don’t see it changing between now and Week 1.
That being said, the 49ers defense is growing, and I think could be in line for a better year than expected. And getting a rookie QB in Week 1 could potentially be a nice confidence-builder. Gurley is a tough task for the run defense, but I’m fairly comfortable with a matchup of the 49ers defense against the Rams offense. There is frequent talk about what Chip Kelly’s high tempo offense means for the defense, but for this Week 1 contest, I like their chances.