I just read an article in the FP about the Lions' top 45 passers where they included anyone and everyone that they could think of that made a pass for the Lions. Unfortunately they left out several of the Lions past QBs. Error or just what were they thinking?
This reference (https://www.ranker.com/list/all-detroit-lions-quarterbacks/ranker-nfl) provides a complete list of all of the Lions QBs and tries to rank them. I say tries, but Jared Goff is ranked 28th and he hasn't thrown a pass (good or bad) in a regular season game yet.In my opinion that isn't really fair, but hey, I suppose all rankings have some element of bias.
For some manner of fun I compared Goff to a few other recent QB Darlings: Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and our dear own recently departed Matt Stafford. I wanted to see how their statistical histories compared and whether there was any noticeable trend. All of the QBs had their first full season of action at the age of 23. Here's how they each faired:
Allen 461 attempts, 271 completions, 58.8% completion rate, 3089 yards, 20 TDs, 9 Interceptions, Rating of 85.3, QBR 49.4.
Goff 477 attempts, 296 completions, 62.1% completion rate, 3804 yards, 28 TDs, 7 Interceptions, Rating 100.5, QBR 55.7.
Mahomes 580 attempts, 383 completions, 66.0% completion rate, 5097 yards, 50 TDs, 12 Interceptions, Rating 113.8, QBR 80.3.
Stafford 663 attempts, 421 completions, 63.5% completion rate, 5039 yards, 41 TDs, 16 Interceptions, Rating 97.2, QBR 60.5.
We can all agree that Mahomes was the most dominant, while Stafford was nearly as much although perhaps throwing too much.
Skipping ahead to the most recent season completed how do things look:
Allen, age 24, 572 attempts, 396 completions, 69.2% completion rate, 4544 yards, 37 TDs, 10 Interceptions, Rating 107.2, QBR 81.7.
Goff, age 26, 552 attempts, 370 completions, 67.0% completion rate, 3952 yards, 20 TDs, 13 Interceptions, Rating 90.0, QBR 58.5.
Mahomes, age 25, 588 attempts, 390 completions, 66.3% completion rate, 4740 yards, 38 TDs, 6 Interceptions, Rating 108.2, QBR 82.9.
Stafford, age 32, 528 attempts, 339 completions, 64.2% completion rate, 4084 yards, 26 TDs, 10 Interceptions, Rating 96.3, QBR 68.4.
Allen and Mahomes again seem superior, but the group is still quite close in most respects, with the exception of Goff only having 20 TDs. Is it a function of Goff not trying for TD passes, the team scoring more on the ground, or did they simply did not score as much as the other teams?
The Rams scores the lowest number of points of the four teams, with just 372. The Lions scored 377, the Chiefs 473, and the Bills topped the group with 501, which was second only to Green Bay that scored 509.
The rushing attack of the Rams was spread between three backs. Cam Akers led the group with 625 yards on the ground and only an additional 123 receiving yards on the season. Darrell Henderson had 624 yards rushing, and 159 yards receiving. Malcom Brown had 419 yards rushing, and 162 more by receptions. What stands out so remarkably about this is that the passing attack did not have a feature running back that was a go to receiver out of the bunch. Although the runners were decent rushers, D'Andre Swift nearly matched them with 357 receiving yards. The ability to balance rushing more with a receiving threat out of the backfield may be an important feature Goff can use to great benefit.
Although over 80 receptions were made by the pair of tight ends the Rams had last year, Hockenson should also prove far more prolific. What's more, the passing average yardage of the wide receivers the Rams had might be easily surpassed by the Lions receivers if Goff has the pair of Swift and Hockenson as a more viable mid-range option.
The other QBs in my opinion have had far better receivers through most of their career to work with, and Stafford the advantage of the pairing just mentioned to space the field better for what he had to work with last season. Allen had Diggs as a feature deep threat, Mahomes has had Hill, and Stafford depended principally on Jones last year to likely account for the downturn in his yardage totals from previously enjoying CJ and later Golladay.
Do I think Goff's receiving corp was worse than he has this year? Kupp and Woods wide outs, and Higbee and Everette at tight end, are good, but without the added RB receiving strength, I am not as enamored by this talent at one might be with a far more balanced attack. Although St. Brown, Benson, Williams, Raymond, Hodge, Cephus, and Kennedy may not be as proven, there is much more talent there than simply strength in their numbers when the dimension of having Swift and Hockenson as center-pieces to a mid-range attack.
All this meandering comes down to, give Goff a chance. I think he could quickly become one of our best all-time passers in franchise history. He will have to succeed this year to ensure his longevity, but that is the nature of the game. I think his past performance shows a lot of reason for hope, and the blend of the receiving corp could prove to be just the elixir he needs to show dramatic improvement. Scoring is the end all, of course.
A good or great offensive line giving him time to work, of course can't be ignored too. This would be a great facet of a high scoring offense.