The Lions have yet to win their first game of the season, and QB Jared Goff has struggled in the last two contests, including a blowout loss at the hands of the Bengals last week. Rookie head coach Dan Campbell did not mince words in his post-game presser, saying that Goff “needs to step up more than he has.”
Still, Goff is in no immediate danger of being benched, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. After all, backup signal-caller David Blough is clearly not the long-term solution at quarterback, and Goff might still be, so there have been no conversations about pulling Goff from the starting lineup.
The fact that the rebuilding Lions have dealt with significant O-line injuries and are lacking talent at the wide receiver position should also buy Goff a little bit of slack. Plus, the club has at least been competitive in several games this season, and arguably should have defeated Baltimore in Week 3 and Minnesota in Week 5.
There is also Goff’s contract to consider. New GM Brad Holmes said his decision to take on Goff’s mega-deal in this offseason’s blockbuster trade with the Rams was not solely motivated by his ability to squeeze more draft picks out of Los Angeles, and that he believes Goff can recapture the Pro Bowl form he displayed in the 2017-18 seasons. Still, Goff is guaranteed $26.15MM next year, and the Lions cannot realistically get out of his deal before the end of the 2022 campaign, so he will be given every chance to earn his keep.
Through six games in 2021, Goff has completed 66.8% of his passes for seven TDs and four picks. His 86.9 QB rating — which has been dragged down by his last two outings — positions him in the bottom third of the league, and Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics consider him the 26th-best passer out of 33 qualified players.
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