Through six weeks of the 2023 NFL season, much of the Detroit Lions’ success can be attributed to the play of Jared Goff.
Goff, the former Los Angeles Rams castoff, came on late in the 2022 season with a dominant stretch of football, but his play in 2023 has exceeded that already high bar. The Lions are sitting at 5-1 thanks in no small part to his elevated play. The pairing of Goff and coordinator Ben Johnson have the offense humming despite injuries preventing the unit from playing at full strength. Whereas Goff during the latter part of his Rams tenure and his 2021 campaign in Detroit was indecisive and lacking confidence, Goff has no shortage of stellar throws in 2023.
Over Goff’s previous 16 games, he has thrown for 4152 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. On the surface, those are elite numbers, yet Goff’s play extends beyond basic counting stats as well. Entering Week 6, Goff was PFF’s highest rated quarterback, above the likes of Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence, and Patrick Mahomes. That position is unlikely to shift much either, following a solid outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Some of the names that were just mentioned are frequently grouped in the elite tier of quarterbacks. Is it time to consider Goff part of that group?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Is Jared Goff an elite quarterback?
My answer: I think he is just shy of the elite territory.
The one thing holding me back from adding Goff to that next level of quarterbacks is ability out of structure. It’s one thing to be pinpoint and decisive in the pocket and on script, but in my mind, the elite quarterbacks complement that with improvisation once the play breaks down. Think of your Allens or Mahomes being flushed out of the pocket and making magic happen with their arm or legs. When the pressure is on and the pass rush is closing in, the elite quarterbacks can still be a threat.
Goff has not really demonstrated that skillset in 2023, but that isn’t necessarily his fault. The Lions offense has held up incredibly well despite the shuffling around Goff, and the Lions have rarely had to rely on Goff working off script—his off-script playbook has largely been limited to that patented spin move that gives everyone a heart attack whenever it happens. He historically has not been the most creative quarterback, nor is he swift of foot, so despite the limited opportunities this season, I still don’t believe he would thrive in those types of situations.
What Goff is doing through the air is incredible and a sign of his growth as a player in Detroit, but I wouldn’t quite crown him as elite yet.
Is Jared Goff in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks, or is he still a tier or two below? Let us know in the comments.
Is Jared Goff an elite QB?
This poll is closed