After a disastrous first season with the Detroit Lions, Jared Goff came roaring back and played some of the best football in his career this year. Goff’s consistent and productive performances this season helped turn around the Lions season from a 1-6 record to a 9-8 record. This remarkable turn around almost ultimately led to a playoff appearance, but unfortunately they were eliminated in a heartbreaking fashion out of their control. Unlike what many experts anticipated when the blockbuster Matthew Stafford trade happened, Goff is the expected starter for the 2023 season and even for the foreseeable future. The Detroit Lions are not anticipated to draft a quarterback this year in the draft or add a quarterback through free agency or the trade market. This belief in Goff by the Lions organization is a belief that is rightfully earned, as Goff was the best quarterback in the NFC North.
Goff was statistically a top 10 quarterback in the league this year. He attained 4438 yards, 29 passing touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions this season for a quarterback rating of 61.1. All of these statistics, Goff was in the top 10. Brad Holmes, the general manager of the Lions, said “I think what Jared has done this year, he captained the ship of a top-three offense and I want to say he was top-10 statistically in most of the passing categories”. So even Brad Holmes who is really talented at identifying talent is saying that Goff had a really impressive year.
Here is why the other 3 NFC North quarterbacks do not stand on the same tier as Goff this year.
Fields showcased his potential this year, especially his athleticism and his ability to run the ball. However, as a passer, he is still lacking. Fields attained 2242 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions for an overall quarterback rating of 54. Additionally, there were a few games this year where his performance was not very consistent and he did not look good. This was especially the case against the Houston Texans where he threw for 106 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and only 47 yards rushing with no rushing touchdowns. Also, he only managed to get over 200 yards through the air, 2 times this season.
You could argue that his dominance in the run game could assert him as the best quarterback in the NFC North, but the best quarterback should be the best passer and leader. Unfortunately this year Fields was neither.
Cousins is a close second to Jared Goff as he successfully led the Vikings to an impressive 13-4 record. However, many experts thought that the Vikings were fraudulent, and these experts were proved right when the Vikings lost in wildcard weekend. This ability to crash and burn at the end of the season is one reason as to why Cousins, the leader of the team, is lower than Goff.
The other reason as to why he is lower than Goff is his statistics. He attained 4547 passing yards, 29 passing touchdowns, but also threw 14 interceptions for a 49.9 quarterback rating. Cousins threw double the amount of interceptions that Goff did and he has a considerably lower quarterback rating than Goff as well.
My hottest take in this article is that Rodgers was the worst quarterback in the NFC North this year. He had his arguably worst season as a starter in the pros. As far as being a leader, he was not. Offseason rumors, his inability to practice with his team in training camp, and his criticism of his wide receivers asserted him as more of a distraction than a leader.
Additionally his statistics were by far the worst of his career. Rodgers attained only 3695 yards, 26 passing touchdowns, and 12 interceptions for a 39.3 quarterback rating. This was not an MVP year for Rodgers at the slightest, and the worst may still be yet to come.