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Notes: Detroit Lions fans may miss Matthew Stafford’s mobility this year

Don’t expect Jared Goff to be making a lot of improvised plays on the field this year.

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Detroit Lions v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Earlier on Wednesday, our own Mike Payton broke down Jared Goff’s career statistics from a number of different angles, be it out of shotgun vs. under center or how he fared in no-huddle situations. It’s a good look at some of the things Goff has done well and struggled with through his first five seasons.

Thanks to Sam Hoppen of, we’ve got even more statistics to dig through to build our profile of Goff. Hoppen took statistics from Sports Info Solutions to compare the non-rookie starting quarterbacks in different facets of the game, like efficiency facing pressure, play action, deep-ball accuracy, and other metrics. Then he color-coded a chart to compare each quarterback to the rest of the league.

Note: this is only data from Goff’s 2020 season, arguably the worst of his career. Take a look:

As pointed out by ESPN’s Mina Kimes, it’s hard not to notice the stark differences between Goff and former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford when it comes to their success under pressure. Goff’s passing efficiency under pressure in 2020 produced a -0.66 expected points added (EPA) per pass, meaning on average a Goff pass under pressure averaged 0.66 points in favor of the defense (EPA is fully explained here). Stafford, on the other hand, produced a solid figure at -0.26.

That difference is even more pronounced when looking at scrambling ability. Stafford only had 112 rushing yards, but 12 of his 29 rushes went for first downs, creating an EPA of 0.74—the highest in the NFL. Goff, on the other hand, rushed for just 99 yards on 51 attempts, producing 12 first downs. His scrambling EPA of -0.10 was third-worst in the NFL, only ahead of Joe Burrow and Tom Brady.

Of course, there are plenty of caveats to consider here. This chart only captures Goff’s worst season. This would likely look much different during Goff’s fantastic 2017-18 run with the Rams. One season isn’t a great sample size to draw sweeping conclusions of any quarterback.

Additionally, mobility isn’t everything. If you look at the accuracy numbers above, Stafford and Goff are almost identical across the board. With exception to the deep ball, in which Stafford holds a huge +18% advantage, the two are both around average or above average in intermediate accuracy (Stafford +1%), short accuracy (Goff +1), accuracy vs. man coverage (Goff +1) and accuracy vs. zone (Goff+1).

That being said, Stafford’s ability to improvise and move with his feet has always been an underrated part of his skillset. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of Goff.

  • Last year, the NFL implemented a bunch of new roster rules as protection from COVID-19. It appears the changes were so popular, however, that the league is considering keeping them around. Those rules include an expanded practice squad and altered IR rules:

  • Football Outsiders started a series called the “Anti-Dynasty Rankings,” which ranks the worst runs of football in NFL history. As you can imagine, this list is likely going to feature the Lions heavily. As of now, they’ve only revealed teams 51-58, and they’ve already hit on the 1984-90 Detroit Lions. For you masochists, check it out here.

  • Kory Woods of Woodward Sports went to his first Lions practice as a credentialed journalist. That produced a fresh perspective of OTAs that Lions fans will enjoy: