It’s been quite the last 24-hours for the Detroit Lions. Detroit entered Sunday’s game against Arizona as two-touchdown home underdogs, only to blow out the Kyler Murray-led Cardinals to the tune of 30-12.
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff played his tail off in the victory and took a beating doing it. Goff had been reluctant to stand in the pocket for most of the year, risking taking a hit to make a play. As soon as Goff felt pressure, instead of climbing the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield, Goff would bail out and usually be tackled for a significant loss.
That changed this past Sunday; Goff quickly earned the respect of his teammates and the Detroit faithful for his effort and willingness to play hurt.
After hanging in the pocket to make a play, Goff took a vicious hit, got his leg rolled up, and was forced to come out of the game for one play. As Goff returned to the field, he was greeted by a loud cheer. If you had told me a month or two ago that Jared Goff would be cheered by Detroit Lions fans, I would have laughed out loud.
The Cardinals were flagged multiple times for roughing the passer; Goff stood tall in the pocket under pressure and delivered two perfect deep balls that went for touchdowns to Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds.
Following the game, starting left tackle Taylor Decker mentioned that he made a point to praise his quarterback for hanging in the pocket and taking a hit to make a play. Decker mentioned that doing this builds confidence within the offensive line. It seems Goff isn’t just starting to win over a few Lions fans; he’s beginning to win over his teammates as well.
The Detroit Lions placed Jared Goff onto the COVID-19/reserve list Monday.
This news comes at an awful time. The Detroit Lions had been forced to play Sunday without a host of starters due to COVID-19 and injury. Plus, Goff played a vital role in Detroit, upsetting the 10-win Cardinals, throwing for three touchdowns while completing 80% of his passes.
Goff came to Detroit with massive shoes to fill but hasn’t had a fair chance to succeed. The 27-year old signal-caller joined a rebuilding depleted roster, which showed in his play. For the better part of the year, his top receivers had been D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson. That doesn’t sound bad, but neither is a wide receiver; that’s a problem.
General manager Brad Holmes signed veteran receivers Tyrell Williams and Breshard Perriman to be Detroit’s top-two pass-catchers this off-season. Neither worked out, leaving Kalif Raymond and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown to carry the load until claiming Josh Reynolds off waivers. Reynolds seems to be Goff’s security blanket, and a comfortable outside threat, as the two played together with the Rams.
Over the past four games, Goff has completed nearly 70% of his passes, totaling 898 yards, and nine touchdowns to two interceptions. The Lions have played to a 2-2 record during that span.
In 2021, Goff has tossed for 3,007 yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. If he’s unable to start this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit will be forced to turn the keys over to Tim Boyle, and we all know that is a less-than-ideal situation.