Upon the franchise's relocation from St. Louis to Los Angeles prior to the 2016 season, one of the burning questions was whether the team was ready for the bright lights of Hollywood.
The Rams -- and Goff -- did little to quell those doubts in their return to Los Angeles, stumbling to a 4-12 record and featuring the league's most impotent offense.
Goff finally cracked the lineup in Week 11 and lost all seven of his starts, finishing a forgettable rookie season with 1,406 yards and five touchdowns against seven interceptions.
Bust? That was the early word on the not-so-mean streets of L.A.
Fast-forward less than two years later to see the latest example of the startling progression of Goff, who showcased his skills with a dazzling display in the Rams' 38-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
Goff matched a franchise record with five touchdown passes -- tying his total from his rookie campaign -- and threw for a career-best 465 yards as Los Angeles moved to a perfect 4-0.
"Lights out," said star running back Todd Gurley in assessing Goff's play against Minnesota. "He's playing like one of the best quarterbacks in this league. Big night for him. He was just killing it. He looked like he was back at Cal today."
Goff looked better than his college days at California. His passer rating for Thursday's game? A perfect 158.3 -- and this coming against a defense that yielded an NFL-low 15.8 points in 2017.
"Man, there's just something special about the way he's delivering the football and his confidence level," marveled Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitwoth. "You just want to do everything you can not to mess it up."
It's not like Goff came out of nowhere. The hiring of Sean McVay as head coach after that disastrous 2016 season marked the first step in his ascent to NFL stardom.
Goff guided Los Angeles to a 12-4 record and the NFC West title last season, throwing for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Through the first four games this season, he already has amassed 1,406 yards with 11 scores and two interceptions.
"I think just a comfort level," McVay said after Thursday's win. "I think he's got such a great command right now and you know he's intentional about getting better. (Quarterbacks coach) Zac Taylor has done a great job with him. Really just having him make sure that he has an ownership of the game plan, understands what we're trying to get done and you know that constant dialogue, that communication that we talk about being on the same page.
"At the end of the day I think he's just thrown the ball extremely well."
The gaudy overall starts aside, the Rams had eight plays -- all passes -- of at least 20 yards Thursday. Among Goff's scoring strikes were a 70-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp and TD passes to fellow wide receivers Brandin Cooks (47 yards) and Robert Woods (31 yards).
"It felt pretty good all night," said Goff. "I thought we did a great job protecting, as we've done most of the season this year and, really, all of the season this year. Just keeping me upright and anytime that happens, we've got such good guys on the outside and try to get the ball in their hands and let them make plays. Tonight, we were able to do that."
Goff tossed four of his touchdown passes in the first half -- tying another franchise mark -- on his way to his eighth career 300-yard game, including three of four contests to open this season. Goff credited the play of his top three wide receivers, all of whom eclipsed 100 yards and combined for four TDs against the Vikings.
"Yeah, I think that's just speaking to the confidence I have in them and the trust I have in them," said Goff. "Those three guys ... it just shows the work that we've been putting in together and I feel comfortable with all of them. Really at a good level right now."