With the season finale upon us, it only feels fitting to highlight perhaps the biggest asset the Detroit Lions have: Jared Goff. The so-called “bridge quarterback” has proven himself to be among the NFL’s best quarterbacks this season.
Goff was the first overall draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was selected by the Los Angeles Rams where he would play five seasons. While Goff had an unsuccessful rookie season, he bounced back in year two, leading the Rams to their first winning season in 13 years. He continued to excel in the 2018 season and even led the team to Super Bowl LIII. His next two seasons with the team didn’t satisfy, and he was traded to the Detroit Lions.
The Rams sent two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and Jared Goff to Detroit and received only Matthew Stafford in return. Not only did Lions fans hate to see their beloved Matthew leave, but they also hated the thought of getting a quarterback that wouldn’t help the team. Or so they thought.
The Lions’ first season with Goff in the QB1 position was not ideal. It was also the first year under Head Coach Dan Campbell and General Manager Brad Holmes, and the start of the Lions’ rebuild. While many fans bought into Campbell and Holmes, they didn’t buy into Goff. Many claimed he couldn’t get the Lions to the playoffs, and just simply wasn’t the quarterback for the job. This kind of talk lingered even after the hype from HBO’s Hard Knocks AND through the first few games of the season.
Jared Goff Helps Detroit Lions Win
So far this season, Goff has completed 359 passes for 4,214 yards and 29 touchdowns. Since December, Goff has ranked first in passer rating, interceptions, and passing touchdowns, second in yards/attempt, passing first downs, and 25+ yard passes, and third in passing yards among all NFL quarterbacks. He has helped this Lions’ offense break some incredible records this year and helped the Lions play meaningful football not only in December but also in January.
The Lions now head into their biggest matchup of the season against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Prime Time. Detroit still has a chance to get to the playoffs, a thought most fans couldn’t have dreamed of after a 1-6 start. The winner of the Rams-Seahawks game will be the deciding factor as to whether or not the Lions have a chance to get to the playoffs. If the Rams win, the Lions need a win to secure their spot.
Detroit heads into this matchup as if this were a playoff game. With so much at stake, the team knows it’s a must-win game. Head Coach Dan Campbell is thankful to have Goff on the team in such a high-pressure game as he’s been in this kind of light before.
“It does help. It does help because there again, this – the intensity of this game will go up. It will be played like a playoff game because it is win and get in or you don’t win and you go home one way or another, and so that’s – they’re looking at it that way we’re looking at it that way. And so, I think out of all positions you want your quarterback to have been there and felt that a little bit. Of all of them he needs to make sure that his emotions are always on an even plain and he can think through things like he has all year. So, him – he’s been in some as we know huge games. He’s been in the big one, so this won’t be anything new to him and I think it does help especially in that position.”
The Lions kick-off at their season finale at 8:20pm ET.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
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