How Jared Goff dominated at every route depth in 2015

Steve Palazzolo takes a closer look at Goff's versatile game and how it compares to his draft class peers.

| 7 months ago
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

How Jared Goff dominated at every route depth in 2015

The PFF database is filled with rich information about each player, allowing us to uniquely identify their strengths and weaknesses. Using our situational data, we can dive into the quarterback class to see where the players separate themselves from their peers.

One of the reasons we like Cal quarterback Jared Goff is his ability to succeed in all circumstances. Whether under pressure, facing the blitz, or throwing to all levels of the field, Goff performed well. A quick look at Goff’s grades compared to the rest of the quarterback draft class shows that he’s consistent across the board, other than the few 40-plus yard bombs on which he struggled.

Take a look at the table to see how Goff compares to his peers, and we’ll take a closer look at his strengths below:


*Grades are based on play-by-play grading during the 2015 season.

Throwing Short

While Goff struggles at times with ball location on simple short throws, it’s the 6-10 yard range in which he really separates himself from his peers with the top grade by a healthy margin. Some of the league’s best quarterbacks generally dominate in this range as last year’s top 6-10 yard throwers included Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson. Goff makes sharp, quick decisions in this area, and whether it’s his first read or he’s working back to a second or third read, his accuracy is on point.

Watch as he moves subtly in the pocket, waits for the passing window to open up, and puts the pass right on the money away from the tight coverage. This is textbook from Goff, and something he did better than any other quarterback in the class.

Goff Short

Intermediate to Deep Throws

Perhaps the most impressive part of Goff’s game is his work at the intermediate level while taking big hits. Between Cal trotting out a subpar offensive line and their offense featuring a number of “run/pass options,” Goff faced plenty of pressure the last two years. But even with defenders bearing down on him, Goff stood strong in the pocket and threw the ball accurately into tight windows at the intermediate level.

The Huskies fell victim to Goff once again as he threads the needle for a touchdown despite his left tackle completely whiffing on his man and Goff being under immediate pressure.

Goff Intermediate 2

On this pass against San Diego State, the window isn’t necessarily tight, but Goff is getting hit while he throws and still throws with perfect accuracy into the hole in the zone.

Goff Intermediate

Throwing down the field

The last place where Goff showed well was on downfield bucket throws that traveled up to 40 yards. While he had his fair share of misses as well, his best throws were beautiful. Whether exploiting zone busts or placing the ball on his receiver’s hands away from man coverage, Goff had his fair share of big plays throughout the season.

Even in one of his worst games of the year, Goff squeezes in one of the year’s best throws as he gets rid of the ball in under two seconds and drops the deep pass right into the waiting arms of WR Trevor Davis for the touchdown.

Goff Deep

When you add it all up for Goff, you have a quarterback that can win at every level, whether in a clean pocket or when facing the blitz.

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • Cooper7

    How does Wentz stack up?

    • zinn21 zinn21

      I think he stacks up pretty well. Goff has a lot more of an experience base playing under pressure but I see a lot of things Goff does in Wentz’s game. Both have their feet connected to their brains and can make subtle foot adjustment or take small steps out of pressure. Wentz is a bigger, stronger athlete with excellent scrambling skills.

      • Cooper7

        Thanks, good stuff.

  • Mnstorm99

    Great timing on vertical patterns it seems (based on your video evidence), what about crossing routes?

  • Nick Cortez

    The grading table seems off…just adding up the column for Matt Johnson gives me a +85.6, not +42.5. That is a HUGE difference.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It’s impossible to tell how relevant any specific grade is without knowing the number of attempts it was based on…..and that data wasn’t included in the table.

  • zinn21 zinn21

    Pull up his post season game against Air Force. It’s a thing of beauty..

  • Hey Now!

    Feet, feel, and accuracy of one Aaron Rodgers.

  • Richard

    I saw the same things when I graded Goff for my website ( I was very impressed with Goff after grading 3 games. Wentz has ability but the 2 things I saw with Goff that I like more is a quick release and the ability to perform under pressure.