Is it time for the Lions to bench Jared Goff?

SideLion Report

As he continues to turn the ball over and generally look incapable, is it time for Jared Goff to be benched?

The Detroit Lions‘ defense mostly held its own during Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. But for most of the game, the ineptitude of Jared Goff sabotaged any chance to put a mark in the win column. An opportunity to win, which was cashed in on with a touchdown and a two-point conversion as the Lions took a 17-16 lead, was gift-wrapped by a fumble from Vikings’ running back Alexander Mattison deep in Minnesota’s end.

An injury-thinned offensive line without its two best players (Frank Ragnow and Taylor Decker) was not helpful. But Goff took back-to-back sacks at one point in the first half, taking the Lions out of field goal range. The second sack also yielded a fumble, recovered by Minnesota.

Driving in Vikings territory fairly early in the third quarter, Goff threw a momentum-breaking interception. It was a great play by Vikings’ linebacker Eric Kendricks, but the angles shown below fail to show what exactly Goff saw that made him think he could make that throw. There is literally no window to make the throw, let alone a tight window a quarterback better than Goff might think he could thread it into.

Goff added two to his career tally of giveaways on Sunday, now the third-most in the league since he entered in 2016. He took four sacks in the game, while taking seven additional hits.

Late in the third quarter, The Athletic Vikings’ reporter Chad Graff shared a graphic pointing to how much Goff was impacting the game negatively for the Lions.

Entering Week 5, Lions head coach Dan Campbell was aggressive almost to a fault. With just less than 10 minutes to go in the game, down 13-6, he punted on 4th and 4 from Minnesota’s 42-yard line. The Surrender Index says it all. Even with a five-yard penalty (unintentional?), the punt only dropped to the 98th percentile of “cowardly” punts around the league so far this season.

Goff managed to take the aggressiveness out of his head coach, as Campbell instead chose to trust punter Jack Fox and a defense that was playing pretty well. The Vikings promptly took over five minutes off the clock, with a 10-play drive culminating in a 55-yard Greg Joseph field goal to make it 16-6.

Who is Jared Goff’s backup?

The Lions originally signed former Packer Tim Boyle to be their No. 2 quarterback last offseason, but he’s on IR and likely out for the season with a thumb injury. So that leaves David Blough as Goff’s backup.

Blough started five games for the Lions as a rookie in 2019, when Matthew Stafford missed time. He completed 54 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and six interceptions, as the Lions went 0-5 in his starts. Blough attempted 10 passes in one appearance last season. Former University of Colorado quarterback Steven Montez is on the Lions practice squad.

So as the Lions trend toward taking their quarterback of the future early in the 2022 draft, Goff stands as their best option under center. Signing Cam Newton is a fancy idea, but he’s not a fit for a rebuilding team.

A Twitter search of Goff’s surname shows plenty of Lions’ fans and followers calling for his benching as Sunday’s game went on. But shy of an injury, it’s not going to happen.

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