This year marked something very strange for the Detroit Lions. After many years of being the butt of jokes, dealing with non-existent expectations, and existing outside the limelight, the Lions had hype. They were given the opening game of the season, the media talked them up, and the Lions had the best odds on most gambling sites to win the NFC North. And a reason why was Jared Goff.
Goff had been discarded in Los Angeles and sent to Detroit as a tie-in to the trade that brought Matt Stafford to the Rams. Expectations were low, and most thought it unlikely that Goff could resuscitate his career, especially in Detroit. However, he outperformed projections in his first two years and, this year, entered what could be the defining part of his tenure as a Lion. In a make-or-break third season with the Lions, Goff has shown why he was once seen as a future superstar.
More than a third of the way into the season, Goff is shining. He is one of the top candidates among sports betting operators for the MVP award. He is climbing into the top five of major quarterback rankings, and in general, he is playing good football that is contributing to winning.
Goff is taking care of the football, looks decisive, and seems like an ideal distributor for this Lions squad. And the Lions themselves? They are the toast of the league. A lot of credit is given to the great playcalling on the Lions, and Ben Johnson, the offensive coordinator, deserves praise. But a big reason that the team has turned things around under coach Dan Campbell is that Jared Goff is a much better quarterback than the fans and media assumed when he fell out of favor in Los Angeles.
Goff has been dealing with negative rumors and a lack of job security since he arrived in Detroit. He has been a consummate professional and embraced the city. He has shown himself to be a way better leader than he was ever given credit for. He can read a defense very quickly, gets the ball out fast, and has a ton of arm talent. While he isn’t an elite playmaker like Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, he is playing his role at an incredibly high level.
When Goff first arrived in Detroit, many thought that his substantial contract would lead to him becoming a financial burden on the team. Now, it is hard to find a pundit who would argue that Goff is overpaid. He is the perfect player for this team, and he is not done.
Goff has been playing with only one primary go-to target in Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is establishing himself as an elite receiver. Now, first-year tight end Sam LaPorta is breaking out, showing himself to be one of the best young players at his position in the sport. And Jameson Williams, last year’s first-round pick, has returned from his suspension. He has the ability to add a new dimension to this team with game-changing speed. He could open up the Lions’ deep-passing game.
The future looks incredibly bright in Detroit right now. Coach Dan Campbell has done an amazing job of turning things around. And a big reason this team has been able to turn things around so quickly is that it looks like they’ve had their franchise quarterback with them since Campbell arrived. With so much negativity and disbelief directed towards him, Goff has managed to completely turn his reputation around. He is now staking his claim as a clear top-ten passer in the game.