Former Quarterback: 2022 Season ‘Make or Break’ for Lions’ Jared Goff

Jared Goff

Getty Jared Goff ready to take the field for the Lions in 2022.

The Detroit Lions have plenty of variables to watch ahead of the 2022 season, but one of the biggest could revolve around what happens to Jared Goff.

Goff has been given a vote of confidence for the 2022 season, but what happens with him moving forward beyond that remains anyone’s guess. The future of Goff could be firmly up in the air and that might only be the case more after the 2021 season finished up according to one analyst.

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Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms has been raking every quarterback in the league for the 2022 season. Probably not surprisingly, he has Goff occupying a low spot at 30th overall.

“Tougher than he gets credit for, willing to take a hit in the pocket. But inconsistent mechanics lead to inconsistent accuracy. He’s a game manager w/ a stronger arm. Holding down the fort, but didn’t do anything last yr to prove he’s the Lions future,” Simms tweeted about Goff’s ranking.

Going further with the analysis for NBC Sports, Simms explained why Goff might not be the future for the team. As he said, Goff may not have done anything amazing last year to show the Lions he is a can’t-miss player for the future to build around, meaning 2022 is a huge year for the quarterback.

Simms Top 40 QB Countdown: Nos. 30-26 | CHRIS SIMMS UNBUTTONED (Ep. 374 FULL)0:00 Intro 9:10 #30 Jared Goff: Should the Lions have gotten some competition for him? 19:45 #29 Tua Tagovailoa: Welcome to the countdown, TuAnon. 32:20 #28 Marcus Mariota: What does he have that Tua doesn't? 42:50 #27 Mitchell Trubisky: How did he move back into the rankings after not playing last year? 59:45 #26 Jameis…2022-05-23T21:00:34Z

“I think he’s a guy that you look at and go ‘alright, can he turn the corner or is he just holding the spot down for us one more year before we find an improvement?’ By all intents, the way it looks, I feel like it’s going that direction. He did nothing last year to solidify in their brain to go ‘you’re the guy for the future for a long, long time here,’ Simms said. “I don’t think they’re a totally quarterback-centric team and they’re not going to put it all in on the quarterback which I like. You know they’re going to try to play a well-rounded game, run the ball, play action pass, (play) defense and they’re going to try to make it not about the quarterback. But, as we know, there’s gonna be a few games where you do all those things but it’s gonna come back to the quarterback (with) four and a half minutes left in the football game. He’s got to make some throws or some big plays like we saw the Steelers game. There were some chances there that day where if you just make a few throws in this game, you’re going to go into Pittsburgh and upset them, but he did not do that. They should have won that game easily that day and they didn’t. It’s scenarios like that that are going to be big for for Jared Goff and I think for a couple years we’ll see where it goes.”

Specifically, Simms said he believes the approach will be centered around toughness and defense, and the Lions will look to try and grind out low scoring games since they won’t be putting up huge numbers offensively.

“I think Dan Campbell, the way he is old school. They’re gonna run the ball with D’Andre Swift, keep it efficient with Jared Goff and they’re gonna hope they can play defense and and win games 23-20 or 21-17. That’s the kind of football team I envisioned when I was talking about the Rams of a few years ago.”

Detroit can still win games like that, but Goff will have to find a way to get it done more often than not to perhaps ensure he can stick around for the future. If not, the Lions may have no trouble moving on.

Simms Believes Goff’s Mechanics Could Complicate Future

In terms of why Goff might be hit or miss with the Lions, his play has a lot to do with that, and some of his struggles with mechanics could be seen as a big reason why for Simms. As he explained, Goff’s throwing motion can be the nexus for a lot of his problems on the field.

“It’s strong, his arm. He pushes some balls into some tight windows and pushes the ball down the field yes, but at times he can lose control of that too and he can also throw a ball that’s not always the most catchable to go along with that. That would be the thing with Jared Goff to hit on some of the negatives. Yeah, I’m kind of going there as far as there’s inconsistencies in his mechanics. I think I talked about this last year. His motion, his arm can get too long at times. It’s a long delivery. It’s a long wind-up. The ball is too far away from his head.”

In terms of a playmaker at the position, Simms doesn’t see Goff as electric enough to carry a team himself as he is more of a game manager than a player who can light up the scoreboard at any given time.

“He is a pretty good decision maker but he’s not going to carry the team through a tough spot or go ‘hey guys get on my back and let me make something happen. I’ll make plays off schedule, I’ll throw lasers down the field and we’ll change the game,’ Simms said. “No, that’s not what he is. He’s a little bit of a game manager. I’m going to say he’s a little plus on that because of his arm strength to a degree, but you know there is some some flaws to his game.”

The Lions can still win with Goff this season, but with things like this in mind, the team might find success in spite of him at times rather than because of him.

Goff Enjoyed Solid Finish to 2021 Season

Regardless of any narratives about him from outside, Detroit has a quarterback they can seemingly count on for the future in Goff under center. In spite of all the early struggles and injury trouble late in the year, Goff found a way to finish the 2021 season strong on the field. Since Thanksgiving, Goff was on relative fire as statistics go at quarterback. He threw 11 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions while going off for 1,136 passing yards. Goff has also claimed elusive awards for a Lions quarterback such as NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors as well as FedEx Air Player of the Week award.

Perhaps the game that showed Lions fans the most was his impressive 3 touchdown performance against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15:

Jared Goff's best passes from 3-TD game | NFL 2021 HighlightsJared Goff completed 21 passes for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Detroit Lions. The Arizona Cardinals take on the Detroit Lions during Week 15 of the 2021 NFL season. Subscribe to NFL: Check out our other channels: Para más contenido de la NFL en Español, suscríbete a NFL Fantasy Football…2021-12-19T21:35:48Z

All of this cemented Goff’s future with the team. The Lions didn’t draft another quarterback or sign one outside the building, and Goff is still sticking around for the future to help the team continue to build in the best way possible.

For 2022, that means everything. When it comes to 2023, however, all bets could be off according to Simms.

READ NEXT: D’Andre Swift Named to Significant List for 2022

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