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What Kind Of Pressure Is Jared Goff Facing With The Lions?

What Kind Of Pressure Is Jared Goff Facing With The Lions?

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Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on August 21, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

 

The Detroit Lions were involved in a blockbuster trade in February to essentially get the offseason kicked off with a bang.

They traded quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, and received two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and Los Angeles’ incumbent starter under center, Jared Goff.

Goff has an intriguing NFL career, and he’s not even six years into it yet.

He was taken second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Rams, and has had a roller coaster of a time.

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Goff gets a new lease on life and a fresh start with his change of scenery, but a lot of the narratives that followed him in Los Angeles will still be there in Detroit.

He won’t have the pressure meter dialed up as high as it can go, but he’ll still feel a great deal of heat as the NFL watches what he can do in his second stop.

 

Replacing A Mainstay

By almost any measure, Stafford is far from a legend.

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He finished his Lions career with a 74-90-1 record in the regular season, which is nothing to write home about.

His Detroit tenure saw him throw 282 touchdowns and 144 interceptions, which isn’t even an acceptable 2:1 ratio in that department.

The team missed the playoffs way more often than they made it in the Stafford era.

Even still, Stafford’s play endeared himself with Lions nation, and it’ll be weird, and possibly difficult, to see another person assume the QB1 responsibilities from Week 1.

After some injury issues to begin his career, Stafford played in all 16 regular season games in nine out of the last ten years.

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That feat is made more impressive considering Detroit’s lack of success over the last decade.

Goff’s availability, at the very least, will be monitored closely in his first year.

 

Separating The Coach From The Quarterback

The storyline that has arguably been most discussed over the last two years is whether Tom Brady or Bill Belichick should receive more credit for the success the New England Patriots have had over the past two decades.

While it is nowhere near that level, the questions about whether Goff can be a functioning NFL quarterback without offensive maestro head coach Sean McVay are certainly present.

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The perception with regards to the amount of credit slanted toward McVay is not a good look for Goff; in fact, one could argue that Goff’s struggles under such an innovative play-caller bodes poorly for the rest of his career.

The sixth-year pro will look to erase those doubts in Detroit, and lead the Lions offense to respectability.

It will be interesting to see if he can do it, considering how much he struggled before McVay was named head man in Los Angeles.

 

Auditioning For His Future

It feels a bit awkward to say that a quarterback who made the Super Bowl not even three calendar years ago is fighting for his NFL life.

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It would likely be a bit of an exaggeration to say that, but there’s no question that this season will help determine how the rest of Goff’s career unfolds.

Detroit arguably has the worst receiving corps in the league, which might help reduce some of the pressure he’s facing.

However, as a former number two overall draft pick, and a player who is slated to receive over $31 million in each of the next three seasons after this one, Goff is under the microscope.

Detroit likely won’t make the postseason this year, but if Goff can keep his team competitive and minimize turnovers, it will help swing his image back in a positive direction.

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