When the Detroit Lions acquired Jared Goff as part of the return package in the Matthew Stafford blockbuster, many assumed that he wouldn’t be with the team very long. He was considered a throw-in by many analysts to help match salary and expected to be a bridge quarterback for the new regime.
Well, Goff had other plans and has proven those naysayers wrong. After a so-so first season in the Motor City, Goff proved during year 2 that he is, in fact, the long-term answer for the team at the quarterback position.
“I think it’s a lot easier to get worse at quarterback than to get better in this league,” general manager Brad Holmes said during his end-of-season news conference Tuesday. “So, I think what Jared has done this year, he captained the ship of a top-3 offense, and he was top-10 statistically in most of the passing categories.
“And again, you know how we approach the draft,” he added. “We’re never going to turn down a good football player, so if it’s a football player we love, we’re going to make sure every stone is turned. But I do think that Jared has proven to everybody that he is the starting quarterback for us.”
Jared Goff was excellent in 2022, completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,438 yards, 29 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He led the Lions to their first winning season since 2017 and dispelled some of the worries about his inability to play in cold weather games.
Detroit’s last five road games of the season were all played outdoors in weather under 40 degrees. They went 5-0 in those games and Jared Goff didn’t throw a single interception.
Despite the label that was placed on him upon being traded to the Lions, Holmes and the organization never felt that way about Goff. Holmes’ relationship with Goff goes back to his rookie season with the Los Angeles Rams, as he was an integral part of the front office group that selected him No. 1 overall in 2016.
“I don’t really know what the decision is,” Holmes said. “I was always confident in him because I’ve been with him from the get-go from since he was drafted, back when I was with L.A. I just kind of know how resilient and how mentally tough he is. I think a lot of it was me knowing all the success he had in L.A. I think that was kind of forgotten about a little bit when he got here, and I think he was put in a very tough situation.”
What Jared Goff was able to accomplish in the back half of the season was some of the best quarterbacking that has ever been done in Lions’ franchise history. He was a driving force in turning around the team after a 1-6 and while not making the postseason was disappointing, they had to be happy about making sure their rivals, the Green Bay Packers, didn’t make it either.
The old saying if it ain’t broke don’t fix it applies to the Lions. Jared Goff was excellent for them this season and with almost all of their weapons coming back next season, there is no reason to make a change. If they can fill in some of the gaps and carry over the defensive improvements made, the Lions are going to be a playoff team next season with Goff at the helm.