If you would have told me before the season began that Detroit Lions’ quarterback Jared Goff had thrown for over 1,100 yards, and 11 touchdowns to only three interceptions in the first four games—I probably would have told you that the Lions’ record had to be 3-1. Or at least 2-2, right? RIGHT?!
Sadly the football gods are cruel, and the Lions are 1-3, despite having one of the most efficient and explosive offenses in the NFL.
With Goff at the helm, the offense has been leaps and bounds better than where they were this time last year. In fact, some think that he needs to be mentioned in the MVP conversation. Just ask NFL insider Jordan Schultz of thescore.com.
“Goff’s making throws he’s never made before,” one NFL scout told Schultz. “He’s been able to throw some guys open with tight windows. The receivers have made plays, and he’s always had a good, strong arm.”
Even in the game against Seattle, Goff was without many of his favorite targets—second-year receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, star running back D’Andre Swift, and newly-acquired receiver DJ Chark. Even without those difference-makers in the lineup, Goff managed to make plays in the passing game—consistently finding other pass-catchers like tight end T.J. Hockenson, veteran receiver Josh Reynolds, and even preseason superstar Tom Kennedy.
Personally, I think it’s a bit premature throwing Goff’s name into the MVP bucket. He has certainly played his best football as a Lion the last four weeks, but there are still mistakes here and there from the former first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, like a pair of pick sixes, including one against the Seahawks last Sunday.
As good as Goff’s ball-placement and decision making was for the majority of that game, that throw was incredibly costly to a team that already was having issues keeping pace. To truly be considered among the elite in this league, he has to limit some of the bone-crushing mistakes that have plagued him for several years now.
You can read the entirety of the piece from Schultz here.
And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:
- Normally, I would do my best to avoid storylines like the one associated with the Lions’ Week 5 opponent—the New England Patriots. However, it’s not that simple. Justin Rogers of the Detroit News has more on how this game means more than your typical out-of-conference matchup.
The Lions have more to worry about with their present than their past, but we can't ignore this week's obvious story:— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 5, 2022
Lingering scars, a culture on the mend and a franchise still struggling to find its way heading into a game against its former coach. https://t.co/Vv6I3pOokS
- Coach Dan Campbell said we would be getting some changes in the offense’s tempo. Well, he wasn’t lying.
Fastest offenses by situation-neutral pace (seconds per play). ⌛— Football Outsiders (@fboutsiders) October 5, 2022
1) Dallas Cowboys - 28.76
2) Detroit Lions - 28.76
3) Carolina Panthers - 29.15
4) Philadelphia Eagles - 29.17
5) Jacksonville Jaguars - 29.30
The NFL average is 31.11 seconds per play.
- Dave Birkett of the Free Press dives into just how much defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is sending extra rushers after the quarterback.
Aaron Glenn last month: "I like to go after people, and that’s just who I am. And I don’t know if that’s changing anytime soon." My Tuesday film review on how the blitz came back to bite the Lions https://t.co/SuEdt3D4VU via @freep— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 5, 2022
- I don’t partake, but I imagine those who have Jamaal Williams on their fantasy teams are quite happy with his production.
Most points scored this season— StatMuse (@statmuse) October 5, 2022
42 — Dan Carlson
39 — Younghoe Koo
36 — Jamaal Williams
Jamaal is the only non-kicker in the top 12. pic.twitter.com/o1CKj4Ksre
- At the beginning of the year, we knew that the offense would likely be ahead of the defense in terms of development. Although I don’t think anyone thought the contrast would be this extreme. Eric Woodyard of ESPN has more on how the Lions’ defense is holding back a potent offense.
STORY: If nothing else, the #Lions are entertaining.— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) October 5, 2022
They are the ONLY team since the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger to lead the NFL in points per game and rank last in points per game allowed through the first 4 weeks of a season.
Here’s why. https://t.co/RKAo06NiWj
- Daniel Jeremiah’s Rookie Rankings for the first quarter of the 2022 NFL season has two Lions on defense in the top 20.