Coming off a trip to the Super Bowl, the Rams gave Goff the bloated contract that seem to attach themselves to him for better or worse (and whether he kept the starting job or not).
In the two seasons since, Goff has dropped off. He led the league in pass attempts in 2019, but that yielded 22 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions. Turnovers were again an issue this past season, with 13 interceptions and four lost fumbles in 15 games.
Rams head coach Sean McVay had clearly soured on Goff, to the point John Wofford would have started both playoff games last season if not for a neck injury in the Wild Card Round.
Upon being sent to the Lions, Goff acknowledged his soured relationship with McVay.
The Lions new regime may indeed view Goff as their long-term solution at quarterback, and he’s entering his age-27 season in 2021. Trading the “smartest guy in the room” Matt Patricia for the decidedly old school Dan Campbell as head coach seems sure to yield a more run-focused offense centered around D’Andre Swift. Goff had his best success with the Rams when their ground game was among the best in the league, and there’s one stat that shows it.
Having success in the run game is not necessarily a requirement to be highly effective with play action, though it surely helps.
Drilling down based off the tweet from Pro Football Focus, Goff has 1,128 completions for 13,278 yards over the last three seasons. So one-third of his completions and nearly 39 percent of his yards came off play-action. Heavy volume is worth noting here, as the Rams have routinely been the most play-action heavy team in the league under McVay. In 2019, Goff had just an 85.9 passer rating on play-action attempts with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
The Lions have to protect Goff well, as his numbers when under pressure are downright bad. A play-action heavy offense will surely help that, and maybe a change of scenery will help Goff more than any offensive design.