The Detroit Lions enjoyed one of their best seasons in recent memory, finishing up 9-8 after looking like a lost cause at 1-6 near the midway point.
From the coaching staff to the front office to players, there are many folks who can take credit for being able to help the team deliver upon a major turnaround that lends much hope for the future.
Perhaps the most significant of those parties, however, is Jared Goff. Detroit’s quarterback went from an average placeholder to a silent assassin in the minds of fans overnight. Along the way, he’s made plenty of believers in not only the team, but his own viability moving forward.
Goff leads with a steady hand and an unflinching confidence. In his meetings with the press, he is rarely too high or too low, instead opting for the coveted even-keel. At times, he’s made mistakes. Rarely, though, does he let them compound into poor games or stretches of games.
Many may have been tempted to assume Goff was just a throw-in for the Lions in the blockbuster deal with Matthew Stafford. At his 28 year old age and ability level, though, Goff is looking like one of the most important pieces to the team’s puzzle for the future. As the Lions have built around him, he has shown he is capable of shouldering the entire load.
Without Goff, the Lions probably don’t rise from the dead and show such promise late in the season. Without Goff, they probably aren’t as interesting as they have become in multiple ways this season.
Detroit can draft and develop a young quarterback without threatening Goff’s job, and that’s exactly the path they should choose in the future. Goff has earned everything he has received through hard work, including the praise which should follow him this offseason.
Dan Campbell Praises Goff’s Fit With Lions
For anybody wondering whether or not the franchise feels the need to move on from Goff, head coach Dan Campbell clarified things once and for all on Monday, January 9.
Speaking about Goff with the media on January 9, Campbell gave him perhaps the greatest vote of confidence that a team can give a quarterback. Not only does Campbell think Goff fits the Lions and what they’re about, he believes Goff is a big reason the Lions even turned things around in the first place.
“He fits us. He really does. He fits us. We’re about running the football, play action pass. When you do those things, you need a quarterback that can get you in the right play and is very good at accuracy. Throwing the football. Decision making,” Campbell said to the media. “He fits the bill in all of that. It’s a hell of a year by him. He’s one of the biggest reasons we even got this turnaround.”
Don’t believe in Goff? Take it from the coach, who understands that the Lions wouldn’t be where they are today without his major contributions this season in multiple different ways.
Goff Has Embraced Lions, Detroit Fans
After a fantastic season which saw him throw for 4,438 yards, 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, Goff opened some eyes statistically. Given his work within the community, he’s opened eyes off the field, too.
Lions fans have started to love on Goff, and he has paid that back in a big way. Following the win, Goff made the rounds at Lambeau Field. Stacey Dales of the NFL Network captured video of Goff thanking the fans on the field after the game.
As Goff would tell Dales after the game, he loves the fans in the Motor City, and shared plenty of the love for them following the 20-16 victory over Green Bay. He was very impressed with the way the fans showed out.
“These fans, I mean look at this, they’re still here. Got to give them some love. It’s unbelievable. It’s something I’ve never experienced and I love being here,” Goff said to Dales after the game.
Goff deserves more of that same love himself. As the season finishes, it’s time to start thinking about how bright the future could be with Goff at quarterback. After the work he put in this season, it is a well-deserved realization.