Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff deserves every ounce of praise thrown his way following the Lions 40-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He passed for 340 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 31-of-41 passes. It’s exactly what the Lions needed. However, the most mesmerizing part of the Lions game was not Goff. It was the offensive line, especially on pass protection.
Did anyone touch Goff? Did anyone breathe on him? Did anyone get close to the protective bubble the offensive line provided? I watched the offensive line like a star struck geek. It was a thing of beauty how these players protected Goff like a baby in the womb.
“Yeah, those guys up front, first of all, they kind of set the tone, run game and pass game,” Goff said. “I mean especially for me in the pass game, it was clean pockets all day long, and guys were getting open, we knew what type of game it was going to be with the coverage they play.”
A week ago, left tackle Taylor Decker said “SOL” was dead. SOL is alive and kicking if he is talking “Same Old Line.” This line of Penei Sewell, Jonah Jackson, Dan Skipper, Frank Ragnow and Evan Brown have been terrific all season. They reached another level against the Jags.
Jared Goff had time
Goff enjoyed a ridiculous pocket. It was clean and hardly dented. He not only had time to study the field, but he had time to pat the ball and enjoy the view. Any quarterback in the NFL is dangerous under the circumstances.
“Our quarterback played as good as you can play,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said. “I think he played as well as any quarterback can play today. We knew he needed a big game; it was a completion game. I thought he was on fire.”
If the line continues to play this way, Goff should at least be an above average quarterback for the remaining five games. That should force the Lions into a tough decision. Do they keep Goff for the long term? Look for his replacement in free agency or the draft this spring? Or delay it another season?
My vote is to keep Goff for now and keep building a great team around him. You can win playoff games with him at quarterback. Is he flawed? Yep. But remember how we said Matthew Stafford was flawed when he played in Detroit? What happened when he left? He won a Super Bowl ring.
Goff is a downgrade from Stafford. But give him a real team, with this offensive line and an improved defense. See what happens. The Lions could be on their way in a couple of years.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)