The Detroit Lions can win with Jared Goff despite limitations

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Detroit Lions, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

If utilized correctly, Detroit Lions quarterback, Jared Goff, could see similar success to Jimm Garoppolo.

No one will or should consider Garoppolo to be anything more than a middle-of-the-road quarterback, but the 49ers are one win away from going to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years. The 49er defense is playing exceptionally well, which played a significant role in San Fran’s past three must-win victories all on the road.

Heading into Sunday’s NFC Championship game Garoppolo has a career (as a starter) postseason record of 4-1, with that lone loss coming in a Super Bowl. Goff is 2-3 overall.  Isn’t that what we’re looking for, a stepping stone?  Playing in playoff games would be a nice change.  Sure, the Lions lacked results with Stafford, but unfortunately, Stafford didn’t have this management team in place while he was in Detroit.

The 49ers beat the Rams in the final week of the season, with the Rams hoping to secure the second seed in the NFC. They followed it up with playoff road victories in Dallas and Green Bay, setting up a rematch with Matthew Stafford and the Rams in the NFC Championship game.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff got the Rams to the Super Bowl, and despite being able to win it or perform at a high level in the game, he proved that he could do enough to get a franchise to the big stage. The Lions need to surround him with enough talent to overcome his limitations.

This Lions’ organization, similar to the 49ers, has the makings of a stellar run game; they need a couple of playmaking weapons on the outside at receiver, perhaps another rookie running back to add to the stable led by D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.

I don’t believe the Lions will be in a position to draft Kenneth Walker III, but if he’s available to come round three, he needs to be in serious consideration. There will be plenty of opportunities to draft running backs in round five and beyond that can contribute from day one of the season, players such as Jerome Ford, Hassan Haskins, Tyler Goodson, Brian Robinson Jr, Zonovan Knight, and Kennedy Brooks.

By drafting a pass-catcher or two, and a running back late, the Detroit Lions can solely use their remaining draft picks to focus on bolstering their defense and be in a similar position to grind out wins and perhaps a playoff berth in a couple of years without having a Patrick Mahomes-like quarterback.

Goff finished the 2021 season with a 67% completion percentage which is the best of his career, despite having a low 6.6 yards per attempt average. Don’t forget how well the Lions’ offense played after Anthony Lynn was stripped of his play-calling duties. With tight ends coach and likely leading offensive coordinator candidate Ben Johnson assisting Campbell as a passing coordinator, the Lions didn’t just get more creative offensively; they also pushed the football down the field.

But, let’s not completely pile on Lynn for this; at the same time, Detroit got the services of their talented left tackle Taylor Decker back, which bought Goff an extra beat of time in the pocket that’s needed when throwing downfield.

If Goff falters in 2022, the Detroit Lions can simply hope to draft his successor at the top of the 2023 NFL Draft, cut ties with the veteran quarterback and ingest the dead cap number of $10 million in 2023, and $5 million in ’24.

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Goff finished the season throwing for 3,245 yards, 19 touchdowns, and eight interceptions in 14 games.