Jared Goff, the Los Angeles Rams quarterback who was the first overall pick in 2016, has a new team.
In the first blockbuster trade of the offseason, the Rams traded Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for two first-round picks at the end of January. In exchange, along with the draft picks, the Rams also received quarterback Matthew Stafford who was the Lions’ first overall pick in the 2009 draft.
With question marks over Jared Goff throughout this season, can he succeed in Detroit?
Detroit’s’ Years Of Mediocrity
The Lions have been a long-suffering franchise, with their last playoff win coming in the 1991 season. With the franchise in a no better position in 2021, they will go into next season with a new head coach and new general manager.
Former Miami Dolphins interim head coach and New Orleans Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell has been hired along with new GM Brad Holmes.
Campbell has stated he wants to “put Motown on the map”. In his first press conference, Campbell stated how this team has been kicked, battered and bruised and that they’re “going to kick you in the teeth”.
It is clear that Campbell has an agenda to rebuild this franchise and that he will not accept anything less.
Holmes and Campbell’s first move was to get Goff, someone who worked under Holmes at the Rams where the new Lions GM worked for over fifteen seasons. Interestingly, Holmes was the director of college scouting from 2013. He would have been involved in looking at Goff when they had the first overall pick in 2016.
They want to build Detroit’s future with Goff under centre. The first two round draft picks can help them build this team.
Jared Goff’s Mixed NFL Career So Far
Goff has had an interesting NFL career so far. He was drafted by the Rams as the first overall pick in the 2016 draft and struggled in his rookie year.
The 2017 season saw an improvement in Goff’s performances with 3,804 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. His best season came during the 2018 season when the Rams reached Super Bowl 53.
Goff threw for 4,688 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions but struggled in the 13-3 Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. Goff regressed in the two seasons that followed, with 4,638 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions during the 2019 season as the Rams missed the playoffs altogether. His final season as a Ram in 2020 saw Goff throw for 3,952 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The Rams were eliminated by the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round.
Against the Miami Dolphins in the 2020 season, Goff’s downturn in form was highlighted as he struggled against their defense. Miami only had 8 first downs compared to the Rams’ 31. The Rams had 326 more passing yards than Miami yet still lost to the Dolphins by 11 points.
This was thanks to the nightmare performance from Goff which allowed Miami to score three defensive or special teams touchdowns.
As the 2020 season went on, it was clear to see the deterioration of the relationship between Goff and head coach Sean McVay.
Can Detroit And Goff Rebuild Each Other?
Goff has publicly stated how happy he is to be at the Lions.
“I’m just excited to be somewhere that I know wants me and appreciates me. I’m moving forward and couldn’t be more excited to build a winner there. I’m excited about Dan (Campbell) and the whole staff.”
It appears that both Goff and the Lions staff believe in each other, which can only be a good thing.
Goff will need some weapons. Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones appear on his way out of the door through free agency and both seem unlikely to return.
He didn’t lack the weapons under an offensive head coach in Los Angeles, with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee and Josh Reynolds to throw to. Goff will need Detroit to draft well if he has any chance to succeed.
Should they do this, then Goff has the chance to bring glory back to a struggling franchise.
However, there’s also a more likely chance that this move may not work out. McVay had to carefully plan an offense to suit Goff, one that involved plenty of play action. When they didn’t go for those style of plays, we often saw Goff make the most mistakes.
Campbell talks a good game but is unlikely to replicate what McVay has done and Goff is playing with a far worse roster, one that shows no signs of improvement for the future. The Lions have the potential to have a great period of success, but this may be in an era after Goff has finished playing in Detroit.