We have two recurring 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 been on an upward trajectory over the last five weeks, topping out at 96% following the win over the New York Giants. That number held firm despite the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Buffalo Bills but figures to possibly see some movement after the Lions throttled the Jaguars in Week 13.
Now, on to our quarterly look at the future of the Lions’ quarterback position.
It’s almost been a tale of three seasons for Goff. After the first four weeks, the Lions were 1-3 but were riding high with the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Goff was efficient and found himself rated in the top five of several quarterback categories, breaking into the top 10 in several others. Those high marks led to poll results showing that, after four games, 70% of fans believed Goff was indeed the Lions quarterback of the future.
But things drastically changed over the next month. The Lions went 1-3 during that span of games as well, but the offensive efficiency was dragging. Goff’s numbers dropped out of the top 10 in several categories, only finishing under top 10 in passing touchdowns and in sack rate. As a result, only 18% believed Goff was the team’s future quarterback after eight games.
As we have done in the previous two polls, let’s review where Goff ranks statistically in the previously identified quarterback categories, looking at where he was through four games, eight games, and 12 games.
Note: Green = Top 10 ranking, Yellow = Top 20, Pink = Not in top 20
As you can see by the numbers, Goff has refocused how he operates. His touchdown passes are down, but with the Lions’ rushing attack punching it into the endzone on the regular, that’s no surprise. Goff is still moving the offense down the field, as evidenced by improvement in passing yards, yards per attempt, and adjusted yards per attempt.
But you can also see how he is opting for safer throws, which is why his yards per completion and air yards to sticks production declined. That safer approach was likely a result of him having multiple mid-season turnovers (he had seven during the middle four games), but the adjustment is working as he has not turned the ball over in the last four games.
Based on the above chart, you can see Goff is operating as efficiently as he has all season—and arguably the best since he arrived in Detroit—and the results are showing up in the win column as well.
So now that we have established Goff is arguably playing about as well as he has in quite a long time, let’s revisit the core of the question: Is he Lions quarterback of the future?
To answer that, you’ll need to consider:
- His fit within the organization — he was just named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year
- If you are comfortable with his $30 million-a-year salary — he is signed through the 2024 season at that rate
- If you believe this success is sustainable
- Can he lead the Lions to the Playoffs? Beyond?
- Plus a few other intangibles based on personal preferences for the position
Okay, time to vote.
Unfortunately, this week, we needed to split the questions into two polls. So after you vote on the Goff question in our standard format, make sure you scroll down to the weekly question in the SB Nation Reacts format. As always, keep an eye out later in the week (typically Saturday) for a breakdown of the results.
Is Jared Goff the Lions quarterback of the future?
This poll is closed