THOUSAND OAKS — Jared Goff is trying to bounce back from a rough season. Carson Wentz is trying to bounce back from a bruiser of a season-opening game.

There’s always something to link Goff and Wentz, the Rams and Eagles quarterbacks who were picked No. 1 and No. 2 in the 2016 NFL draft.

This week, the one-time rookie stars seem to share an old pro’s instinct for playing down personal rivalries.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Carson,” Goff said four days before the Rams (1-0) and Eagles (0-1) play in Philadelphia. “We’ve kind of had this friendly rivalry ever since we got into the league, just being in the same (draft) class, training together.

“(I) always just want to be competitive. I’m sure he’s thinking the same thing when he’s playing against us. At the same time, I’m playing their defense and he’s playing our defense. I wish him the best. I hope he plays well enough but we still win.”

Wentz is thinking the same thing.

“Lot of respect for him as a player and as a guy, and I consider him a friend,” Wentz said of Goff. “But the rest of it, the rivalry, all of that stuff, that’s neither here nor there for both of us. I just enjoy playing against him. It should be another fun one.”

Comparisons were unavoidable after Goff went first out of Cal and Wentz went second out of North Dakota State.

Even before that, actually, since they have the same agent and worked out together during pre-draft inspections.

While their friendship now consists of rare football-related meetings and occasional texts, their performances are hard to separate.

• Each is his team’s bellwether. Last season, the Rams and Eagles each went 6-0 in their quarterbacks’s highest-rated games, 3-10 in the rest.

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• For both, triumph goes throwing arm in throwing arm with frustration. Goff led the Rams to the Super Bowl following the 2018 season (but they lost to New England). Wentz was the Eagles’ regular-season star on their way to beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl following the 2017 season (but his injury made ex-Ram Nick Foles the Super Bowl quarterback).

• They have similar places in their teams’ histories. Goff’s 275 yards passing against Dallas on Sunday moved him past Kurt Warner and up to No. 5 in the Rams record book with 14,494. Wentz is fifth in Eagles history with 14,461 yards.

• Among active quarterbacks, they’re 23rd (Goff) and 24th (Wentz) in passing yards, 10th (Wentz) and 11th (Goff) in NFL passer ratings, and tied for 26th in fourth-quarter comebacks with six.

There is at least one key statistical difference: Goff averages 7.6 yards per pass, which ranks sixth among active quarterbacks, while Wentz averages 6.9, which ranks 20th.

And there’s a big style difference, owing to Wentz’s size (6-foot-5, 237 pounds) and elusiveness.

“I think that’s part of what makes him so good, is how good he is off-schedule, how strong he is in the pocket, and how smart he is,” Goff (6-4, 222), a two-time Pro Bowl selection, said …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News


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