Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Detroit Lions fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.
We have two reoccurring questions in our SB Reacts poll this week:
- Are you confident the Lions are headed in the right direction? (asked weekly)
- Is Jared Goff the Lions quarterback of the future? (asked quarterly)
In our weekly confidence poll, the fans’ approval has declined as the losses piled up, dropping from 69% to 67% to 56% over the last three weeks. But this week, after securing a win over division rival Green Bay Packers, will fans’ confidence rebound? Or has too much damage already been done?
Now, on to question No. 2.
The Lions have a big decision to make this offseason regarding their quarterback situation. Jared Goff is still signed through the 2024 season, but with only $10 million remaining in guarantees, the Lions could move on from him if they decide to pivot in another direction. With the Lions currently on track for another top-10 pick, this could be a prime opportunity to draft a young signal caller, if they feel the need.
With this at the forefront of many fans’ minds, every four games, our plan is to ask fans if they believe Goff is the team's quarterback of the future.
After the first four games of the season, when we first asked this question, the Lions were 1-3 and sporting the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Goff was rated in the top five in several quarterback categories and in the top 10 in even more.
Those high statistical marks led to poll results showing that, after four games, 70% of fans believed Goff was indeed the Lions quarterback of the future.
Let’s revisit those statistical categories, comparing where Goff was after four games to where he is now after eight:
- Touchdown passes: through four games, 1st -> through eight games, 7th
- Passing yards: 3rd -> 11th
- Yards per pass attempt: 10th -> 10th
- Adjusted yards per pass attempt: 6th -> 10th
- Yards per completion: 8th -> 10th
- Air yards to the sticks (how far he is throwing past the first down marker): 3rd -> 11th
- Quarterback rating: 7th -> 11th
- ESPN’s QBR: 8th -> 15th
- Sack rate—how often he is sacked per pass attempt: 2nd —> 7th
Goff saw a decline in all but one category—yards per pass attempt—where he maintained his ranking. Those results shouldn’t be surprising as Goff, and the Lions’ offense, have struggled to produce.
Now, some of that can surely be attributed to several of the Lions key offensive players being unavailable: D’Andre Swift has been hurt or significantly limited over that time, DJ Chark is on injured reserve, they traded away T.J. Hockenson, and Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds have been working through injuries and have missed games.
At the same time, Goff’s inability to close out drives has had a ripple effect on the rest of the offense, and his ball security has been disastrous. As a result, his yardage production is down, as are his touchdowns, while his turnovers have more than doubled over the last four games.
- First 4 weeks: 92-of-151 (60.9%), 1,126 yards (7.5 Y/A), 11 TDs, 3 INTs, 0 fumbles lost, 99.9 passer rating
- Last 4 games: 81-of-124 (65.3%), 915 yards (7.4 Y/A), 3 TDs, 4 INTs, 3 fumbles lost, 81.9 passer rating
So, how much of the above production is on Goff? Is his declining efficiency to blame? His decision making? Does he get a pass because his offensive weapons have been, and currently are, significantly limited? Is he actually making the best of his current situation? And how does this impact his long term value?
Okay, time to vote.
Answer the questions in the polls below and keep an eye out later in the week (typically Saturday) for a breakdown of the results.