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Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are excited about the first meeting in the field

They will be linked forever as selected No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL draft.

They share the same agents, they stay in touch through occasional text messages and they are tracked from afar.

Jared Goff of the Rams and Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles will play against each other on Sunday for the first time when their leading division teams meet at the Coliseum.

If Goff and Wentz continue to act as they have this season, it could be the first of many clashes between the rising stars.

"It will be fun," Goff said Wednesday during a press conference in Thousand Oaks. "It will be good to see him, it's good to talk to him and it's good to compete in the same field." [But] finally … I'm competing against his defense and he's competing against ours. "

Wentz echoed The thoughts de Goff

"We are both excited for this game and only for those confrontations in the future," Wentz said during a teleconference with reporters, adding: "They are a great football team, and so are we. , so there is a lot at stake in this case. … Much more at stake than just me versus Jared. "

The Rams are 9-3, on top of the NFC West and on their way to their first appearance in the playoffs since 2004.

The Eagles are 10-2 and lead the NFC East, with the possibility of getting a place in the playoffs on Sunday and keeping or improve their status as the No. 2 seed in the conference behind the Minnesota Vikings (10-2).

The Rams and Eagles are tied for the league The second-year Eagles coach Doug Pederson was impressed with Goff's development

"It's fun to see it, honestly," Pederson said, "just to see the growth in his work and all the things we saw in him when we were exploring and working with him and evaluating all these marshals. year, this is exactly what we saw. "

As the offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins in 2016, Sean McVay saw Wentz play as a rookie. Now, as the Rams' coach, he and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips are planning the game against him.

"The growth has been very impressive to watch," McVay said of Wentz. "That's why he's in consideration, he's talked about being one of the best in the league."

"He's involving a lot of players. Then, he can create a scheduled schedule or after hours and when things happen and they fall apart … it's scary for most defenses and he's made a lot of big plays doing it that way. "

Goff, 23 and Wentz They interlocked during the pre-draft period, they worked together sometimes in Orange County, and they became the center of media attention when the Rams moved to the top of the draft to be able to select a quarterback.

The following week, the Eagles switched to No. 2 spot.

There was speculation about whether the Rams would select Goff, who had played three seasons in California, or Wentz, who had completed his fifth season in the state. from North Dakota.

The Rams resolved and interviewed both, ultimately choosing Goff on draft night in Chicago.

"We were not exactly 100% exactly where we were going," said Wentz. I think both We had a pretty good idea where it would end, but we were still waiting for that call when the Rams were on the clock. "

When the Eagles signed Wentz, it marked the seventh time in NFL history that the quarterbacks were selected with the first and second draft picks.

It did not take long for many to consider the Rams' choice as a mistake.

Goff joined a Rams team that included quarterbacks Case Keenum and Nick Foles. The Rams pitched Foles on the eve of training camp, but Goff sat behind Keenum for nine games before coach Jeff Fisher elevated him to a starting role.

Goff completed 55% of his passes for 1,089 yards and five touchdowns, with seven interceptions, in seven wins-free starts. He was fired 26 times when the Rams finished 4-12.

The arrival of offensive-minded McVay, receivers such as Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp, and offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan helped develop Goff. [19659002] He completed 62% of his passes for 3,184 yards and 20 touchdowns, with six interceptions.

"When you see it recorded and everything, you only see some of the launches it does and some of the things they are doing offensively." down there, "said Wentz.

Wentz initially joined an Eagles team that included quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, so it looked like he could also stay behind veterans for a while.

But on the eve of the season, the Eagles traded Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings, who had lost fourth-quarter to Teddy Bridgewater with a knee injury that ended the season.

Pederson named Wentz starter and the rookie had a quick start, leading the Eagles to three consecutive wins, including a 34-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers 19659034] Wentz started each game for a 7-9 season, completing 63% of his passes for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 14 interceptions, he was dismissed 33 times.

He has relied on this season's experience, completing 61% of his passes for 3,005 yards and a touchdown in height. league, with six interceptions.

Goff was impressed by "everything" Wentz is doing.

"Especially his ability to extend plays and make plays out of pocket," said Goff. "I know it's always something that was always good and where it's still very good."

"Much respect for him and for what he has done. He is a man who really made his way in everything he earned … and hoping it will continue to improve. "

With his game this season, the two young quarterbacks are raising their already high profile.

Wentz is the winner of votes among fans among all Pro Bowl players, Goff is in ninth place.

The result of his shared saga of the 2016 draft has worked well for both of them.

"The two ended up where we're supposed to be in excellent situations, "Wentz said," and I think they're perfect for both of us. "


Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein

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