Watching Sunday’s contest against the Chicago Bears, who started rookie quarterback Justin Fields, a player the Detroit Lions passed up at no.7 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, instead selected Penei Sewell proved to be a tough pill to swallow for many fans.
It’s more about how sound Fields played and how bad the Detroit Lions performed as a whole that will undoubtedly have fans quarreling now and for years to come. Ironically, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy seems fixated on starting the corpse of Andy Dalton at quarterback instead of his young ultra-talented rookie.
Dalton was forced to miss his second straight game Sunday due to injury, and it opened the door for Fields to bounce back in a big way after struggling mightily in his first career start the week prior, which ended in a 26-6 thrashing at the hands of the Cleveland Browns.
NFL franchises are always looking to secure their franchise quarterback, and if you’ve got one, it’s rare to let them go. Sigh.
Detroit traded Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for two first-round picks, a third-round choice, and stopgap signal-caller Jared Goff.
Jared Goff is exactly what the Detroit Lions assumed they were getting, nothing more, nothing less.
Anyone who believes Goff is anything but the short-term answer at the position is living in a fantasy world. Goff wasn’t the centerpiece of the Stafford deal; the multiple first-round selections were, Goff was the throw-in. The Detroit Lions needed someone to play the position, and surely the second first-round selection was a ‘kicker’ from the Rams to entice the Lions to absorb Goff’s lucrative deal.
Per Spotrac, Goff’s deal averages $33.5 million per season but only accounts for $10.6 million against the cap in 2021. Next season Goff’s cap hit significantly grows to $31.1 million, including a dead cap number of $30.5, but in 2023 Goff’s dead has a dead cap number of just $10 million. Surely the Detroit Lions will elect to release Goff before the start of 2023, saving themselves just over $25.6 million.
Goff was never going to ‘wow’ you here in Detroit, and if you thought he would, I’m terribly sorry.
The 26-year old signal-caller was expected to operate Anthony Lynn’s offense, check the football down and take the safe completion, similar to an Alex Smith or even Kirk Cousins, aka a game manager. The problem is Detroit doesn’t have nearly the same receiving threats Smith once had during his playing days or what Kirk Cousins currently has in Minnesota to overachieve at times.
People want to rush and call Goff trash but fail to understand that his number one receiver is Quintez Cephus. Teams know T.J. Hockenson is a talented tight end and often double him in coverage, daring Goff to throw the football to Kaliff Raymond, Amon-Ra St. Brown, or Cephus. Goff, often under heavy duress, is forced to check the football down to D’Andre Swift.
I advocated the Lions select Penei Sewell, and he may become the All-Pro left tackle that I expected he’d be. Still, watching Justin Fields play Sunday, it’s apparent quarterback-needy teams need to select the potential franchise signal-caller if he’s available.
Fields didn’t light up the scoreboard and didn’t even throw for a touchdown but proved he has big-play ability. He made a few deep throws to Darnell Mooney that displayed his overall talent. Fields is a work in progress, and that’s better than anything the Detroit Lions have at the same position.