The quarterback was taken No. 1 in the , and then sat for nine games before he got his first start.
He struggled mightily as a rookie — drawing criticism from fans who questioned whether the team mortgaged its future to acquire him — before finding his footing during his second season and putting his team on track for the playoffs.
No, that was .
The two-time champion went 1-6 as a starter in his first season with the in 2004, and then led them to an 11-5 record and playoff appearance in Year 2.
Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, appears to be on a similar second-year trajectory.
He was 0-7 as a starter last season, but has helped lead the to a 5-2 start heading into Sunday’s game against Manning and the 1-6 Giants at in East Rutherford, N.J.
Goff said Wednesday that he was a “big fan” of the 36-year-old Manning, who has passed for 330 touchdowns and nearly 50,000 yards during 13-plus seasons, winning two Super Bowls.
“The way he plays the game,” Goff said, “and the way he goes about his business.”
Goff, 23, has completed 60% of his passes, nine for touchdowns, with four interceptions.
He bounced back from a middling performance at Jacksonville with a more efficient game in the Rams’ 33-0 victory over the in London.
“He seems to be gaining confidence,” Giants coach Ben McAdoo said of Goff, adding, “The system seems to fit his skill set.”
Goff is “making steps in the right direction,” Rams coach Sean McVay said.
Playing at a similar level that Manning achieved during his career is the goal.
“The decision-making, playing with the timing and the rhythm — any time that you talk about the quarterback position, those are the things that you mention,” McVay said, “and Eli embodies that and that’s what Jared’s striving to do.”
This season, Manning has completed 64% of his passes — 10 for touchdowns, with five interceptions — for a team hit hard by injuries and locker-room issues.
The Giants lost star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. because of an ankle injury. They also are roiling in the aftermath of a suspension imposed this season upon cornerback and this week upon cornerback .
“It happens, you know,” Manning told New York reporters Wednesday, adding, “We got to, obviously, go about our business and then when guys come back, you don’t think about it and you keep going.”
Manning demonstrated perseverance early in his career after making a declaration before he was drafted.
Manning played in college at Mississippi and had said before the 2004 draft that he would not sign with the then-San Diego Chargers if they selected him with the first pick.
But the Chargers did so anyway after working out a trade with the Giants. The Chargers sent Manning to New York for quarterback Philip Rivers and three draft picks, including a No. 1 pick in 2005.
Kevin Gilbride was Manning’s position coach during the quarterback’s first three NFL seasons and then became offensive coordinator for Giants teams that won Super Bowls in the 2007 and 2011 seasons.
Future Hall of Famer Kurt Warner was the Giants’ starting quarterback in 2004 before the Giants made the switch to Manning and lost six games in a row.
“For a while there now, it was tough to watch,” Gilbride said during a phone interview.
But Manning finished the season by leading the Giants to a victory over the .
“What you see is the poise, the equanimity, the composure,” Gilbride said, “because he’s getting torn at 100 different ways and you just see whether or not he can deal with that.
“Because you have veteran teammates looking askance at you like, ‘What the freak is he in here for?’ Or the fans. ‘We wasted a draft pick on this guy?’ and so on and so forth. I just watched the way he handled it.”
Gilbride also coached Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, Drew Bledsoe and , among others.
“All the great ones, there’s a calmness about them,” he said. “They just don’t get frazzled very easily, and Eli’s definitely of that ilk as well.”
McVay has made similar comments about Goff. How he keeps his composure after setbacks. How he does not get rattled.
Asked how Goff compares to Manning, McVay noted that “Eli’s a Hall of Fame-caliber player.
“If we’re talking about that, then things are going really well for us, and for Jared moving forward into the future.”
Safety Cody Davis (thigh) did not practice and receiver Josh Reynolds (concussion protocol) was limited. Linebackers and and offensive linemen and did not practice because of scheduled rest. … McVay said he had discussions with general manager before Tuesday’s trade deadline, but the Rams stood pat. “We both agreed that where we’re at right now, and the players that we have that we’re counting on, and that are playing for us, we feel really good about moving forward,” McVay said. “And let’s continue on with that and not feel like you’ve got to do anything because of an injury or things like that that some of the teams you might have seen make a move.”
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