What a road this has been for me this season. Yes, I’m talking about me. Jared Goff played so well early in the season that after Week 4. Maybe it was bit reactionary at the time, but he was off to the best start a Detroit Lions quarterback had had since Matthew Stafford’s 2011 season. Then I got reactionary again a few weeks later after the Cowboys game when I said that he was done and the Lions needed to move on.
Here we are again. I tried to hold back as long as I could. I even went to Jeremy after the Jaguars win and said told him I wanted to write this article, but that I was afraid it would backfire on me. After the Lions win over the Minnesota Vikings, I’m ready to just say that the Lions need to keep Jared Goff and they need to forgo drafting a quarterback in the first round if the upcoming draft.
The Lions are winning a lot lately. Not only are they winning, they’re winning big games too. Jared Goff has done nothing but play well during this time. Since Week 9, Jared Goff has thrown for 1,448 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception. That interception way back in Week 9 by the way. Goff is completing 65 percent of his passes during this time and has a quarterback rating of 102.4.
He’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the league in the last six weeks. Even the bad weeks where Goff had a couple of rough games don’t seem so bad anymore. He’s had a great season. He’s currently eighth in passing yards, 10th in touchdowns, seventh in passer rating and sixth in QBR. He’s proven that he’s a top 15 player, if not a top-10 player.
I know there are some that are really against Goff. I used to say that I could understand that. I can’t anymore. What more does the guy have to show? The complaint used to be that he was accurate, but he was afraid to go deep. Now he’s throwing the ball downfield with success. Then it was that he can’t handle pressure. He’s handling pressure better than ever right now. It goes on and on. The man can play ball and he’s a top 15 quarterback. Why walk away from that?
I understand that Detroit is likely headed for a very high draft pick and this year’s quarterback class has a couple of tantalizing prospects, but there is a giant risk involved. You essentially only get one shot at this if your an NFL general manager. You have to nail the good quarterback on the first try, because the chances are good that you might not get another shot. Why take that risk when you have a capable quarterback who has clearly developed chemistry with a receiving corps that loves playing for him?
I get the idea of grabbing a quarterback to sit on the bench to be Goff’s eventual successor, but even that feels like a mistake right now. The Lions are one of the most exciting teams in the league right now, and they have a high-powered offense that’s capable of scoring on any team. They also have a defense that just keeps getting better. Why not continue to build both of those units? Grab another great pass rusher or another great corner. Find your right guard of the future and shore that up. Trade back and grab more picks if you want to.
In free agency, I would guess that the Lions are probably going to be a destination for maybe the first time ever. This team can attract good players with the team they have right now. You could really expedite this rebuild if you just stay put with Goff and keep building everywhere else. You might scare players away if they see that they are coming to a team that’s trying out a rookie at quarterback.
Goff has two years left on his contract with the Lions. They aren’t tied to him forever. If bad things happen and Goff’s play falls off a cliff, the Lions can take their shot at a quarterback in the next class and have him sit what could be Goff’s last year. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I believe Goff is the guy and the Lions need to stick with him and keep building this team. They are so close.