FanPost

Stats Don't Lie - Goff Much Better Than You May Think

Statistics lie, is a common saying. In fact, statistics probably can be made to lie if you want to pick out irrelevant data to suggest something that is clearly what it is not. However, the plainest and simplest statistics often tell a real story that is honest is the day is long.

https://www.nfl.com/news/nfl-qb-index-ranking-all-62-starting-qbs-of-the-2021-nfl-season provides stats and analyst rankings of the 64 starting QBs that played last season in the NFL. It has very simple stats. The ones that intrigue me and that I think differentiate the players are: completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and interceptions, as well as games played.

I'd like to cite how well Jared Goff did compared to his peers based on these few measures.Based on these stats I don't think he's nearly as lowly as some might think. Matter of fact considering how the team was composed last season, these stats make you take notice of just how good he was with a lesser cast than the top ranked QBs.

Goff's completion percentage was 67.2%. Yes there were QBs with a higher mark. Joe Burrows led them all with 69.9%, although he was ranked the 6th best QB, while the top five ranked QBs didn't nearly distance themselves from Goff by as much if anything at all: Ranked #1 Tom Brady, 67.2% (same as Goff); ranked #2 Aaron Rodgers, 68.9%; ranked #3, Josh Allen, 64.5% (whoah, that's 2.7 points below Goff); ranked #4, Justin Herbert, 65.9% (again below Goff); and ranked #5, Matthew Stafford, 67.7% (eeked out a little more).

Yards per attempt is where Goff probably fell out of favor. Whether he didn't trust his receivers or didn't have the arm strength I think will be determined in the coming season. However, his discretion also shows in his ratio of TDs to Interceptions, that I think is important to consider. Goff averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt. In doing so he still managed 19 TDs and yielded just 8 interceptions. That's a 2.38 ratio.

Examining the top 5 again, they threw 7.3, 7.8, 7.1, 7.5, and 8.2, respectively. They typically had more TDs, but also more interceptions. Their stats were 46/13, 37/4, 45/15, 38/15, and 50/20. Obviously everyone loves the scoring levels these QBs reached, but the ratio to interceptions weren't that much better than Goff's. In my opinion, the yardage and TD counts are based to a significant extent on how good other teams' receivers were, or how established they were with the QB. Furthermore, the TD to interception ratio is an indication of risk taking and the confidence a QB has in going for a long play.

When you compare Goff to a grouping of top 10 to 15 QBs, their stats far from overshadow him. #10 is Derek Carr, whose completion percentage was the same as Goff's at 67.2%. His YPA was greater at 7.5, but his TDs totaled 24 while his interceptions added up to 15, for a ratio of just 1.6. #12 Ryan Tannehill had a 67.0% completion rate, while tossing 22 TDs and 17 interceptions, for just under a 1.3 ratio. #15 ranked Matt Ryan also had a 67.0% completion rate, to go with 20 TDs and 12 interceptions, for a 1.67 ratio. In my opinion, Goff is not far below their level of performance. When you consider the tenure of these other two and the personnel they have Goff's performance starts to take an even bigger shine.

Between 6 to 9 there are budding young star QBs: Burrows, Mahomes, Murray, and Prescott. Their completion percentages are above those of Goff: 69.9, 67.3, 68.3, and 67.8. Their TD, Interception totals of 39/16, 48/16, 24/12, and 38/11 are better too, as are their yards per attempt, 8.6, 7.6, 7.6, and 7.4. Still the data to me indicates that their performance is partially due to having greater confidence in what were likely better receivers than the Lions possessed most of last year.

All of this review leads me to believe that Goff could make a statistical jump and be primed for a ranking jump if he can depend on his receivers more and be willing and able to throw longer more than he did in 2021. St. Brown, Hockenson, and Swift should have competition from Williams and Chark, as well as be backed up by Reynolds, Watson, and perhaps Cephus and J Williams to be a much more formidable group for Goff to use.

The article asking the question, who will be the Lions' leading receiver this year, points to the multitude of options Goff will have.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.