This week’s SB Nation Reacts surveys focused on two reoccurring polls, our weekly confidence poll, and our quarterly look at the Detroit Lions future at the quarterback position.
Let’s start with the quarterly poll and the question: Is Jared Goff the Lions quarterback of the future?
When we first ran this poll, after four games, the Lions offense was hitting on all cylinders and Goff was statistically in the top 10 of several important quarterback categories. That led to poll results showing that 70% of fans believed Goff was indeed the Lions quarterback of the future.
Now, four weeks later, Goff has dropped in basically every statistical category, though he still remains in the top half of the league in most important areas. But the biggest and most concerning area of decline is his touchdown-to-turnover rate. Through the first four games, Goff had 11 touchdowns and just three turnovers. While in his most recent four games, he has just three touchdowns and seven turnovers.
His decline in efficiency has been glaring, and while some of that can be attributed to a lack of offensive weapons due to injury, Lions’ fans are rightfully concerned. So much so, that the results of this updated poll have basically flipped 180 degrees, and now only 18% of fans believe Goff is the Lions quarterback of the future.
While fans' confidence at the quarterback position is wavering, their confidence in the team is growing after a win over the Green Bay Packers.
Following Detroit’s bye week, the Lions lost three straight games and fans’ confidence dropped from 69% to 67% to 56% approval. But winning changes everything and fans’ confidence that the team is headed in the right direction has shot up to 82%.
There are a few reasons why approval could be increasing. Fans might be confident the offense will improve once their skill players return to health. Certainly, the defense finding its rhythm and showing signs of improvement played a major factor. But if I had to wager a guess, the most likely catalyst behind this change has to be the play of the Lions rookies and second-year players.
The Lions have invested heavily in their youth and currently are starting nine first- or second-year players. But those nine players drafted (or undrafted) by general manager Brad Holmes aren’t just starting, they are playing at a high level.
On offense, right tackle Penei Sewel and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown are already amongst the best at their positions in the NFL, and we haven’t even gotten a chance to see 12th overall pick wide receiver Jameson Williams yet—who figures to immediately jump into the starting lineup.
On defense, rookie safety Kerby Joseph is the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week and has the seconnd-highest PFF grades among safety in the NFL right now. Linebackers Malcolm Rodriguez and Derrick Barnes (who is not among the starters yet) are developing fast, Alim McNeill is an anchor in the middle of the defensive line, and the entire dynamic of the defense changed when Josh Paschal returned from injury.
Then, of course, there’s No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, who leads all rookies in sacks and is tied for the lead in pressures. According to an SB Nation Reacts national survey this week, Hutchinson should be considered a contender for defensive rookie of the year and is currently polling in second place with 23% of the vote.
Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.