Detroit Lions’ Dan Campbell: Jared Goff needs to be better, in no danger of losing QB job

Detroit Free Press

Dan Campbell said he is willing to look at everything after the Detroit Lions‘ dismal performance in Sunday’s 34-11 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field — everything except replacing Jared Goff as starting quarterback.

“No,” Campbell said when asked if benching Goff is under consideration after the Lions fell to an NFL-worst 0-6. “Now that doesn’t mean that something won’t ever come up. I’m going to look at everything, but to me this was not — this was a collective effort offensively. This is not — you can’t blame one person there.”

Goff finished 28 of 42 passing for 202 yards, but averaged less than 3 yards per pass attempt in the first half and the Lions failed to score a touchdown before halftime for the fourth straight week.

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Goff has an 86.9 passer rating and eight turnovers through six games, and he entered Sunday last in the NFL in air yards per completion.

“I don’t put this all on Jared Goff,” Campbell said. “This is collective offensively, for everything from how can we help schematically to, man, are we MA’ing (missing assignments) at the improper time? Or are guys getting open? Is he making the throw he should? Is he making the right read? So this is a collective — believe me, this is a collective effort offensively that we’re digging ourselves into a ditch with offensively. So this is all of it.”

The Lions ran six offensive plays in Bengals territory in Sunday’s first half.

Goff was sacked for a 10-yard loss on the first play after an Amani Oruwariye interception late in the first quarter gave the Lions the ball at the Bengals’ 38, and Amon-Ra St. Brown had an interception ripped out of his hands on the next play.

In the second quarter, Goff missed an open T.J. Hockenson on third-and-4 from the Bengals’ 38, then threw the ball incomplete out of bounds on fourth-and-4 on the next play.

Goff indicated he and Hockenson had a miscommunication on their incompletion, and he said he had a mental lapse throwing the ball away on fourth down. Penei Sewell was called for a holding penalty that would have nullified a completion, yet had Goff thrown complete downfield, the Lions would have punted on fourth-and-14 with a chance to pin the Bengals deep.

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Asked to assess his play so far this season, Goff said, “Up and down.”

“There’s been good, there’s been bad, there’s been stuff to work on,” he said. “It’s kind of always that way when you look at yourself and when you’re critical of yourself and like I said, everyone’s got their things that they’re working on and I’m no different.”

The Lions failed to move the ball with any consistency until the Bengals dropped into a prevent defense in the fourth quarter.

Goff threw for 120 yards on the Lions’ final two possessions, but was booed by Ford Field fans when he skipped a ball to KhaDarel Hodge on one underthrown pass.

“I feel their frustration, man,” Goff said. “These fans here deserve a lot better than what we’ve been giving them. It’s our job to do that and there’s frustrated people everywhere right now.”

Just 27 years old and three seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance with his old team, the Los Angeles Rams, Goff appears to be a caretaker at quarterback until the Lions can find a replacement, though Campbell said it is not fair to judge Goff given the current state of the team’s offense.

The Lions — trending strongly towards having a top-10 pick for the fourth straight year — are down their two best offensive linemen and have the worst receiving corps in football.

“I don’t feel like we can accurately judge him one way or another — I don’t feel that way yet,” Campbell said, stopping to compose his thoughts. “I feel like he needs to step up more than he has. And I think he needs to help us. Just like everybody else. And I think he’s going to need to put a little bit of weight on his shoulders here and it’s time to step up and make some throws and do some things. But he needs help.

“And look, I told him out there, he knows this, but some of that stuff, we’re getting these holding calls, well, it’s cause he’s drifting back in the pocket 10 yards deep. That’s not fair to those guys either, if you hang onto the ball. It’s like I told you, this is a collective effort now. Everything goes hand in hand, but I want to see him step up, I do. Cause I think he can do it.”

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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