Very quietly, Goff performed well on the night as the new starter for the Lions, going a cool 7-9 for 56 yards in the game against the Buffalo Bills. That effort left some folks impressed with what Goff can do this season for the team, and that was true of ESPN analyst Marcus Spears.
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Speaking on Friday, August 13 after the game on SportsCenter, analyst Marcus Spears was asked about what he thought of Goff’s accomplishments on the night. As he said, overall, he was pretty impressed by what Goff was able to do for the team in his debut.
“I thought he did well. The first pass was obviously batted down, but it seemed like he settled in and he wanted to take control of this offense and it looked like he had it under full control. That’s what you want to see. We know these guys aren’t going to play for a long time, but you want to see operation, you want to see getting in and out of the huddle, you want to see pinpoint accuracy. I thought Jared Goff did a phenomenal job at doing that,” Spears said on the show. “He got a lot of guys involved. Obviously (Amon-Ra) St. Brown was a guy who worked the middle of the field for him. He has Tyrell Williams, a big-bodied guy who can make contested catches. Went to the tight end, worked the intermediate and over the top passes. That’s what you want to see, you want to see those questions answered as the game is going on. Look, everybody talks about the preseason. Jared Goff needed it. He needed to get some synergy, he needed rapport with these guys. We saw it sort of come to fruition as this game went along with the rest of the time at quarterback. I thought he did a really nice job.”
For getting in a new system and shaking the rust off, it was a nice job by Goff in his Detroit debut, and that is notable coming from Spears, who has been critical of Goff in the past.
Marcus Spears: Jared Goff Has Questions to Answer With Lions
Specifically, Spears admitted he wants to see how Goff does away from Los Angeles running his own show and his own team given what played out during his time with the Rams. As he said, Goff had plenty of issues during his time in Los Angeles that would make it seem as if he was
“I’ve had trust issues with Jared Goff. I thought Sean McVay covered up a lot of flaws. I thought he was a guy who needed everything to go right to play at a very high level. Now you get him in Detroit, and now we’re trying to answer questions about this team in totality, let alone Jared Goff. He’s going to have to raise the level of play for what he does when things get crazy and havoc is being brought,” Spears said. “I will be interested to see if he has that in him. He was protected by play calls and surrounded by a lot of great players when he was in Los Angeles. Now he has to be the guy to get everybody else to raise their level of play. We’ll see if he’s got that in his bag.”
So far, so good according to Spears as it relates to answering that key question from the Detroit perspective about their new quarterback. Seeing how that progresses will be a huge goal for the 2021 season. If Goff does well, that could be a big boost for the Lions.
Goff Analyzes First Preseason Performance
In terms of his own analysis, Goff seemed to think that things went well for him and the Lions given the fact that it was the preseason, and the game is a lot different than the regular season.
Speaking with the media on Friday, August 13 after the game, Goff said he believed that in the short time he was in there, he was able to get a good feel all things considered.
“Preseason is totally different than the regular season. I think in the preseason, we’re running our plays no matter what they’re putting out there on defense just trying to throw completions and move down the field. I thought we did a pretty good job of that in our second drive. I thought Anthony Lynn was calling it well there and we were able to move the ball down the field. In games, regular season games, there’s different plays and different calls and different looks you’re looking for for those shots,” Goff explained.
Goff is taking some time to get settled in, and with his work the rest of the preseason, he can continue to go about doing that for the team. If there’s a reason to think Goff might be a bit better than many expect, it’s his production during his career to this point. Clearly, Detroit isn’t just getting a pair of first-round draft picks and a third-round pick, they are getting a quarterback who was in the Super Bowl just two years ago. Goff, a former top pick himself in 2016 out of Cal, has been a dependable player who has won plenty of big games in his career in the rough and tumble NFC West. So far, he’s thrown 107 touchdowns, 55 interceptions, 18,171 yards and has been a two-time Pro Bowler in 2017 and 2018.
During this first game, Goff showed how he could have the goods to deliver the Lions back to prominence. That’s also true for his own career, as well.