June 13, 2024

For Jared Goff, it was meant to be a triumphant return home.

Goff was on the field at Levi’s Stadium for the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, five months after the Rams selected the former California standout and native of Marin County as the first overall choice in the NFL draft.

Dungeon of Doom mailbag: What is up with Jared Goff and the Lions offense?  - mlive.com

Goff was not involved in the game. Not even a uniform suited him.

Goff, who the Rams had declared to be their franchise quarterback, was not in action; head coach Jeff Fisher had stated the week before that Goff was “not ready.”

So, while watching a 28-0 loss with friends, family, and viewers of “Monday Night Football,” Goff saw journeyman Case Keenum struggle. And Goff’s close associates saw how he handled the start of his NFL career.

In a phone conversation last week, Mazi Moayed, Goff’s coach at Marin Catholic High, stated, “It was a tough start there.” However, he has handled things classily, and I believe he has done a fantastic job of that throughout his career.

Goff is coming back to Levi’s Stadium on Sunday with a lot of momentum. Leading the Detroit Lions to the NFC title game is a player who captained the Rams to a Super Bowl before being cut two years later. The Lions would make their Super Bowl debut with a victory over the 49ers, who are ranked first.

When Goff was a member of the Rams, he had a 3-6 record versus the 49ers. At Levi’s Stadium, he is 2-2.

“I was able to get all those ‘playing in front of the Bay Area team’ done when I had my time with the Rams,” Goff said to reporters this week in Detroit. “I grew up as a Niners fan.”

“Yeah, it will be exciting to be able to play a big game there, but I’ve been there a lot.”

Goff first showed he had a penchant for invigorating dormant projects in the Bay Area. While starting as a freshman at Cal, Goff went 1-11 in his first season after losing very few games in high school. The Golden Bears advanced to a bowl game by his junior year, and he was selected first overall in the draft.

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