NFC West Q&A: Does Jared Goff make the Rams a title contender?

Does Goff make the Rams a contender? (1:06)

NFL Insider Dan Graziano thinks the Rams need to fix more than their quarterback situation before being a serious contender in the NFC West. (1:06)

Today's question: The Los Angeles Rams believed they were a quarterback away from turning the corner and becoming a contender. Now that they have Jared Goff, does the rest of the NFC West agree?

Josh Weinfuss, Arizona Cardinals reporter: Yes, but with a caveat. Goff will need two or three seasons to be the type of quarterback who can take the Rams to the next level. As long as the team keeps its defense together, Los Angeles can have a contender by 2018. The Rams have a defensive nucleus -- with Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree -- that complements Goff. Even with Quinn and Ogletree coming off injury, the Rams allowed the third-fewest touchdowns in the NFL, while forcing 20 fumbles and recovering 11 -- both the sixth most in the NFL. And that stout defense recorded 41 sacks last season -- the most in the NFC West. Six of their nine losses were by two touchdowns or less, and of those six, four were by less than a touchdown. Goff can be the difference there. So, Goff has the defensive infrastructure to win. And on offense, he has a ton of young talent led by Todd Gurley. Complementing Gurley will be running back Tre Mason and wide receiver Tavon Austin. The talent is there, and Gurley can take some of the pressure off Goff, but the Rams need a captain to guide their ship.

Paul Gutierrez, San Francisco 49ers reporter: On the bright side for the 49ers, at least the NorCal-SoCal rivalry is born again with the Rams being rechristened as the Los Angeles Rams. But unless that new quarterback is a reincarnation of Vince Ferragamo, the only QB to take the L.A. Rams to a Super Bowl, how does this change things for them? Granted, the strength of the Rams is their defense in general, Aaron Donald in particular. So they don’t necessarily need Goff to be Kurt Warner, the only QB to win a Super Bowl for the franchise (in St. Louis). Keep in mind, Jeff Fisher is still the coach and the next time he guides the Rams to a winning record will be the first. In fact, he has had only two seasons where his team has won more than eight games since 2004, and that was in Tennessee. Indeed, Fisher is 3-4-1 with the Rams against the 49ers. Yes, Goff was the No. 1 overall draft pick for a reason, and there will be some serendipity going on with his first official NFL pass completion in the Niners’ home; Goff’s father, Jerry, got his first MLB hit for the Montreal Expos in the Niners’ previous home, Candlestick Park, in 1990. Goff the younger should be the least of the rebuilding Niners’ problems in 2016.

Sheil Kapadia, Seattle Seahawks reporter: The Rams ranked 29th in offensive efficiency last season. Finding a quarterback is a step in the right direction, but that assumes they will successfully develop Goff into a quality starter. And even if that happens, it’s likely to take two or three years. There may be no bigger “prove it” coach in the NFL than Jeff Fisher. He’s now gone six straight seasons without producing a team with a winning record, which is quite a remarkable feat. In his last 11 seasons as a coach, Fisher’s teams have finished above .500 just twice. In the Rams' perfect world, Goff develops, Todd Gurley reaches his ceiling and they continue to build on a talented defense. But contender status still seems like it’s at least a couple years away -- even if everything goes right.