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Late collapse dooms Rams against Dolphins in Jared Goff's Debut

In Jared Goff's first game of his career, Rams blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

Following weeks of anticipation, Los Angeles Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff made his first NFL start that turned out to be a defensive battle. 

The Rams through the first three quarters held the Miami Dolphins scoreless holding a 10-0 lead behind a 24-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley, which was his fourth touchdown of the season, along with a field goal from Greg Zuerlein.Their defense held Ryan Tannehill under wraps for much of the game registering four sacks, 10 tackles for loss, eight hits on the quarterback, six passes defended and an interception.

However, everything changed in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter after a missed 48-yard field goal by Zuerlein as the Dolphins scored 14 unanswered points on their final two drives of the game on a pair of touchdown passes from Tannehill. This included a nine-yard touchdown to DeVante Parker with 36 seconds to play that sealed the Rams fate falling to their fifth loss in the last six games. 

The defense made a few crucial mistakes during the last two drives committing three personal fouls that allowed for the Dolphins to get an extended opportunity to move the ball down the field. It was a loss that hit head coach Jeff Fisher especially hard given the circumstances. 

“Probably one of the most disappointing losses I’ve endured over the years, particularly because of everything that went into the game: the opportunities for Jared to start here at home and all those things, and the fact that we’re coming off of a win," Fisher said. "Knowing that we were going to play a good football team today, to play three and a half quarters of good football, even though we didn’t get the points and then to let things slip away in the last six minutes was really disappointing, but that’s the National Football League. We’ve got a lot of things to improve on."

All of this overshadowed Goff's where he threw for just 134 yards on 17 of 31 completed passes while managing to be sacked just once. It may not have been an eye-popping performance from the 21-year-old, but Fisher was encouraged by his quarterback's composure. 

“As far as Jared’s concerned, he did a really good job," Fisher said. "No delay-of-games, was in complete control in the huddle, did a nice job on the line of scrimmage. I was disappointed in the outcome of the game, but I think you could see the light. There’s light there for him, so we’ll continue to allow him to get ready and to continue to progress. Obviously disappointed to go into the last six minutes of the game and be up by 10 and lose it. We’ll get them back. That’s the nature of our business, we’ll get them back.”

Despite suffering a loss in his NFL debut, Goff stated that he gained more comfort as the game progressed along. 

“I think it took me a couple drives to settle in—that was expected, I expected that," Goff said. "Similar to my first start in college, in high school, my whole life, your first game in there you got to settle in. It took a couple of drives probably, but I felt good. I did settle in well through the game. “

It wasn't exactly what he thought would transpire in his first NFL game, but Goff believes there were things to build on moving forward into the season. 

“It felt good. I think I’ll start off with obviously very disappointed with the result there at the end, and how things turned out and how we felt the whole game and how in control we were," Goff said. "How at the end there, with six minutes left, we just couldn’t put it away and I think that’s just every play— we need to finish well and finish better than that.

"I don’t think it’s just one thing or another, or we need do this better, we need to do more or something, we just need to stay out of our own way— we just need to continue to do what we do correctly, and do it well and we’ll be fine.”

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