What a turnaround 2022 was for Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. He entered the season with many wondering if this would be his last in the NFL as a starter. After a couple rough seasons with the Rams and a slow start to his first season in Detroit, 2022 was undoubtedly going to be a pivotal year in his career.
Goff responded with one of the best seasons of his career. His 99.3 passer rating trailed only his two Pro Bowl seasons, as did his 7.6 yards per pass attempt. And his 61.1 QBR was just barely behind his best mark, which he accomplished in 2018—the year he took the Rams to the Super Bowl.
On Tuesday, ESPN dropped a list of the 100 most valuable players in the 2022 NFL season based on a wide variety of analytics and opinions from author Seth Walder. Goff not only made the list, but he cracked the top 20. Walder ranked Goff as the 15th most-valuable player this season.
“Goff finished the season fifth in QBR and led an offense that ranked third in EPA per dropback, only behind the Chiefs and Bills,” Walder wrote. “And he did it without a lot of help from teammates. His offensive line was average in pass protection, and while Amon-Ra St. Brown was very good, the Lions’ receiving group wasn’t particularly impressive as a whole.”
Obviously, the top of Walder’s list was dominated by quarterbacks, but Goff was still just the eighth listed quarterback, behind Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence, and Tua Tagovailoa. For what it’s worth, no other NFC North quarterback made the list.
Two other Lions did make the top 100: wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (43) and rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (80).
“On one hand, Hutchinson’s play-to-play level impact took a while to get going, as his pass rush win rate was just 12% at edge, below average for the position,” Walder wrote. “But the production? You can’t argue against it. Not just the 9.5 sacks, but the three interceptions as well. As a result, he generated minus-21.1 EPA as a nearest defender, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, an absurd number for a defensive lineman.”
You can view the entire list here.
- News on a couple of former Lions coaches: Jim Schwartz will be the next defensive coordinator for the Browns, while former Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was let go by the Chargers after Los Angeles was bounced in the Wild Card round.
The Cleveland Browns plan to hire Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator, per sources.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) January 17, 2023
Schwartz who won a Super Bowl as the Eagles DC in 2017 beat out Sean Desai, Dennard Wilson, and Brian Flores for the job.
We have parted ways with OC Joe Lombardi and Passing Game Coordinator/QBs Shane Day.— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) January 17, 2023
- Former Lions cornerback AJ Parker was signed to a futures deal by the 49ers this week.
- Colton Pouncey of The Athletic went back and watched “Hard Knocks” to see how much of Dan Campbell’s message resonated with the team now that the season is over. Neat idea.
- If you missed Dan Campbell on Monday night’s MaddenCast, you can catch it here. Many of the local beat also recapped his appearance: Freep, MLive, and Detroit News.
- Add Isaiah Buggs to the list of Lions free agents who have publicly said they want to be back next year:
@Lions I’m ready to run it back— Isaiah D. Buggs (@BigPooh_91) January 17, 2023
- Lions safety Kerby Joseph joined the “Jim Rome Show” late last week to discuss his rookie season, Dan Campbell and picking off Aaron Rodgers three times: