Detroit Lions have to like and absolutely prefer the 2022 version of Jared Goff

SideLion Report

He has been mostly very good through five games, so the Detroit Lions have to happy with the 2022 version of Jared Goff.

Week 5 against the New England Patriots was a dud for the Detroit Lions, up to and absolutely including quarterback Jared Goff (19-for-35 for 229 yards, with an interception and a sack-fumble that was returned for a touchdown).

Through Week 4, Goff was leading the NFL with 11 touchdowns. Two of his three interceptions up to then were returned for touchdowns, which head coach Dan Campbell can’t quite let go of as reasons the Lions lost to the Eagles and the Seahawks.

One bad game can’t erase how much better Goff has been this season, and how good the Lions’ offense has been as a result. The team’s 1-4 record at the bye week should be pinned on a defense that has been a sieve, and some ill-timed game management decisions by Campbell.

Lions have to like and prefer the 2022 version of Jared Goff

For a large chunk of last season, the Lions surely would have benched Goff for a competent backup if they’d had one. But in line with changes to the offense after the bye week, with Campbell calling plays and now-offensive coordinator Ben Johnson becoming passing game coordinator, Goff played better down the stretch with a 107.1 passer rating over his final five starts.

For the most part, Goff has carried that finish right into this season. After averaging a league-low 6.6 intended air yards per attempt last season (via Next Gen Stats), he is up to 9.1 this year–fifth among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts through Week 5.

The Lions’ offense has gone from averaging 19.1 points per game in 2021 to 28 points per game this year (third in the league). They were the league’s top-scoring offense before the Patriots shut them out in Week 5.

The Lions also have the third-most big plays in the league through Week 5.

Goff’s completion rate is down pretty markedly (59.7 percent; 67.2 percent last year). And his interception rate is up a little (2.2 percent, 1.6 percent last year). But his yards per game is up significantly (271.0; 231.8 last year), as is his touchdown rate (a tied for career-best 5.9 percent; 3.8 percent last year), his yards per attempt (7.3; 6.6 last year), adjusted yards per attempt (7.5; 6.6 last year) and yards per completion (12.2; 9.8 last year).

Goff’s passer rating is also slightly better so far this year, 92.9 compared to 91.5 in 2021.

Take all the good compared to last year, mix in a couple numbers that are worse. The Lions will easily take the 2022 version of Jared Goff over the 2021 version.

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