The Lions start this year eerily similar to their entire season last year, not being able to finish games. Jared Goff had balled out through the first four games. Then came week five. Let’s analyze Goff’s five performances. And, see how Detroit’s early losses are associated with his play. The Lions O-line ranks fourth in the NFL in overall grade. Along with this, the receiving core has overperformed by most standards coming into the year. Goff is seventh in passing yards with 1,355. He has also racked up eleven touchdowns and an above average passer rating. All these numbers are a recipe for much success if you’re a Lions fan. Quite honestly, this offense has outperformed the expectations it had. What happened to Goff and the offense this week against New England? Let’s look through each game for Goff, and look at what happened week five.
Week 1, Eagles- 21/37, 215 Yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
The Lions fell week one to the Eagles, who are the best team in the NFL right now by record. They lossed 38-35 in a game in which the Lions defense allowed 24 points in the 2nd quarter. The offense for Detroit was consistent, putting up a touchdown through each of the first three quarters, and then two in the fourth. Goff did lose a fumble in this game, and finished with a rating of 80.1. Week one was the performance I think we all expected to see from Goff throughout the year. The Lions were able to rush for 190 yards this week one showing as well. The offense was well rounded, and Goff did what he was supposed to. In all truth, I think the offense played well enough to win this game.
Week 2, Commanders – 20/34, 256 Yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Detroit wins week two over Washington, pulling them to 1-1 on the year. This was an extremely essential win for the Lions, getting an early season win on the board. Something they have struggled to do in recent history. Goff played nearly flawlessly in this game, no major mistakes. In my opinion he really only missed two throws this entire game. He held onto the football through three sacks, and finished with a passer rating of 121.7. This is the kind of Jared Goff the Lions need to consistently get wins. Which isn’t really fair, but with Detroit’s defense so far, it’s the truth.
Week 3, Vikings – 25/41, 277 Yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
In my opinion Goff played really well in this game. His Interception came on a hail mary at the end of the game. He managed the ball well, made big plays and big throws. He threw very well in play action and found his strength, which in my opinion is throwing over the middle. He also made two big 4th down completions in the earlier parts of the game, to keep scoring drives alive. His play was essential in the first half and a huge reason, along with the great run game, that the Lions were up 14-0 early. They were also up ten early in the fourth. Once again, Detroit was in great position to win a game, however, they made mistakes late. Allowing big chuck pass plays by the Vikings, and failing to convert a late 4th and 1. Along with this, the Lions special team unit missed some field goals that would’ve switched momentum and field position.
Week 4, Seahawks – 26/39, 378 Yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
First play out of halftime Goff threw a pick six, and was awful. This is a play very unlike the Goff we had seen up to this point. Bad choice and bad throw. He responded to this INT with 3 touchdowns and an incredible performance the rest of the second half. As I referred to, after that pick six, he went 15/26, for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns. A truly great bounceback. He averaged nearly ten yards per pass attempt in this game. He drove the ball down the field all day. I think Goff played awesome this Sunday, except for that one crucial mistake.
Week 5, Patriots – 19/35, 229 Yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
How does the best offense in the league get shutout, what happened? I truly think and hope this was a fluke. A bad game plan and a poorly executed game plan. Goff played badly. The O-line played badly. They were without Deandre Swift. This was a bad game for the offense. Although this was concerning, I don’t believe Detroit fans should panic. I don’t see a need to analyze or put into detail Goff’s performance. It was an uncharacteristic performance by Detroit’s entire unit. Let’s give props to New England’s defense too. I am extremely excited to see how the Lions respond next week. If this offense can respond to adversity, we will know they are elite. The Lions have their bye week and then guess what. They play the best defense in the league. Extra preparation time will be much necessary for the Cowboys.
All in all, I think Jared Goff has been outstanding through the first four weeks. I don’t even want to look at week five. I know it happened but I truly think it was a fluke. Goff has put Detroit in a situation to win every single week, excluding this week. It’s also important to remember that he doesn’t have the weapons most of the elite QB’s do. Not all credit to Goff though, this O-line has played tremendous and the receivers have balled out too. Equally important, Hockensen has been in his usual, All-pro form. If this defense can close games and step up with some big stops. Detroit can be special, because this offense has been special so far, and so has Goff.