Excitement over Goff and Wentz was high enough that the Rams and the Eagles traded significant value to get in position to take them. The Tennessee Titans gave up the No. 1 pick to Los Angeles for a package of draft picks, and the Cleveland Browns did the same with Philadelphia for No. 2. (The Titans drafted the promising quarterback Marcus Mariota the previous year, and the Browns at the time were high on their new acquisition, Robert Griffin III.)
Wentz was the first to sparkle, playing every game as a rookie and popping up among the leaders in several quarterback categories. Goff did not shine; in seven games as a starter after taking over from Case Keenum at midseason, his numbers were among the worst in the league: a 55 percent completion percentage and seven interceptions against only five touchdowns. Worse, the Rams lost all seven games.
This year, though, both players are quite simply two of the top quarterbacks in the game.
In the statistic adjusted yards per attempt, Goff is third among quarterbacks who have played more than two games, with 8.5 — trailing only Tom Brady (9.1) and Alex Smith (8.8), and towering over his rookie figure of 4.3. His touchdown to interception ratio is a healthy 20:6.
Goff’s turnaround — and his team’s — has startled almost everyone. Coach Sean McVay, who at 31 is the youngest coach in the N.F.L., has gotten his share of the credit, as has the former Bills receiver Robert Woods, whom the Rams acquired in March. But whatever the primary cause, Goff has suddenly developed from bumbling novice to effective passer. Last month, fivethirtyeight.com rated his improvement the second greatest ever from a quarterback’s first to second season.
Wentz, after being one of the leaders in adjusted yards per attempt all year, has slipped a little to 8.3 — still fifth among current starters and a significant improvement on last year’s 5.7. He also ranks No. 1 in touchdown passes, and his interception percentage, like…