Jared Goff still not well-regarded by NFL quarterback rankings

SideLion Report

Even coming off one of the best years of his career, Detroit Lions Jared Goff is not that well-regarded compared to his peers.

It’s possible to get called a Jared Goff hater if you point it out, but 2022 was one of the best seasons of his career and he seems bound to regress some this year. His streak of pass attempts without an interception (324) is literally a top-five streak in NFL history. There were three seasons of regressed play, even with a bit of a mulligan for his first year in Detroit, before last year.

Goff is the Lions’ unquestioned starting quarterback for 2023, with the possibility incoming rookie Hendon Hooker will challenge him for the job in 2024 (don’t mention that second thing to Goff truthers either). A credible experienced backup has not even been brought in, no offense meant to Nate Sudfeld.

The reality check, for some, of Jared Goff’s place in NFL quarterback hierarchy

If we were to rank NFL starting quarterbacks 1-32, where would Goff land? Top-15? Top-12? Top-10?

Pro Football Focus recenty ranked the league’s starting quarterbacks 1-32. Goff comes in at No. 16, with a sentiment that’s easy to get behind looking to the 2023 season.

Goff is in an outstanding offense with one of the best coordinators in football running the show. Depending on the numbers you look at, his stats will make him look like one of the best passers in football, but it’s clear to anybody with a critical eye that that doesn’t quite match reality. Goff ranked 19th last season in PFF passing grade and 30th in big-time throw rate. He is a solid quarterback for the offense he’s in but is not as good as some of the results would suggest.

Narrowing to NFC signal callers, Sporting News ranked Goff No. 9. 1-8 is Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott, Justin Fields, Geno Smith, Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford.

Goff revved up in Year 2 in Detroit, showing the arm, decision-making and efficiency that defined his early breakout years with the Rams. He has thrived in Ben Johnson’s offense supported by a terrific line and diverse weaponry. Goff remains one of the league’s most dependent passers, but the Lions have been smart to play to this strengths and providing him with a high-floor rushing attack. He just needs to get more consistent to play as well outside of Ford Field.”

In the Sporting News’ NFC ranking, it’s easy to quibble with Smith, Jones, Carr and maybe even Stafford being above Goff. Only Jones is not above him in PFF’s ranking.

And finally, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com had Goff atop his list of nine quarterbacks heading into a make-or-break year in 2023.

The buzz surrounding the Lions can be attributed to Goff’s ability to direct what was one of the league’s most explosive offenses in 2022. The former No. 1 overall pick shredded opponents ill-equipped to handle the pace, timing and rhythm of Detroit’s attack. Defensive coordinators were not able to counter Goff’s ability to operate like a pass-first point guard running a fast break from the pocket.

Brooks offers a bit of a hint that essentially, the “tape will be out” on Goff’s 2022 performance. The challenge for offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is to continue to find ways to maximize what his quarterback does best, and those areas are relatively narrow.

Goff is not mobile or fundamentally fluid when he has to move around at all, and his arm strength is not great. He needs design, structure, high-end play calling and exemplary pass protection to perform anywhere close to his best. Anything less than all of those things, and we see games like against New England and Dallas last season.

The Goff realists know it, even if the Goff truthers want to ignore it. He is a middle of the road quarterback in the big picture of the league, only elevated higher than that by what has to be great around him. And for whatever it’s worth, many people out there who want to rank quarterbacks see it that way too.

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