Mike Florio Gets Brutally Honest About Jared Goff, Lions Hype

Jared Goff

Getty Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio criticized the hype surrounding quarterback Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions.

The Detroit Lions are getting quite a bit of hype recently. The organization has put together a solid offseason after finishing the 2022 campaign 8-2 down the stretch.

But championships are not won in June. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reminded his listeners of that fact in so many words as he criticized the hype surrounding the Lions this offseason.

“They have ridiculously high expectations,” Florio said on PFT Live on June 2. “For a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in several years, for a team that hasn’t won a postseason game since 1991, for a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year, they are the darlings of the NFL.

“They’re only going to go as far as Jared Goff can take them. And there’s a chance that last year was a fluke. That last year was an aberration and that he regresses this year.”

Goff played his best football in 2022 since leading the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2018-19 season. With the Lions last season, Goff completed 65.1% of his passes for 4,438 passing yards and 29 touchdowns with 7 interceptions.

Mike Florio Pushes Back on Jared Goff, Lions Hype

The good news for Lions fans is Florio didn’t mention many of the obvious concerns with the team. He didn’t point to the Lions poor run defense or lack of receiving depth as reasons the team may fail to live up to its high 2023 expectations.

But Florio did cast doubt over Goff repeating his 2022 performance.

“If I’m Dan Campbell, and I’m thinking about this team that I have that is pretty damn good on both sides of the ball. What’s the one way this can go haywire? It’s Jared Goff not playing like he did last year.”

Goff regressing wouldn’t be shocking given the trajectory of his career. He earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2017 and 2018 but then threw 29 interceptions over his next 31 starts from 2019-20.

That level of play caused the Rams to lose faith in Goff. After the 2020 season, the team exchanged Goff for Matthew Stafford in a trade also involving multiple first-round picks.

Goff regained his 2018 form last season. Actually, he was arguably even better.

In the final 10 games of the season, Goff completed 66% of his passes for 7.5 yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns and 1 interception. He didn’t have a pick in his final 312 attempts.

With an interception-free second half of 2022, Goff posted the lowest interception rate of his career (1.2%).

Goff has cut down on his turnovers since joining the Lions. But to Florio’s point, the question is whether he can stay under 10 interceptions for a third straight season while continuing to throw for more than 4,000 yards and maybe close to 30 touchdowns.

If he does, Goff would likely earn a contract extension.

Chris Simms Ranks Jared Goff No. 17 on QB List

Florio’s co-worker at NBC Sports, Chris Simms, didn’t rave about Goff either, but he did offer the quarterback praise.

On his annual quarterback ranking list, Simms placed Goff at No. 17. While that’s technically below average, Simms moved Goff up 13 spots from No. 30, where he sat on the list last year.

“There’s no doubt about it that that was definitely his best season,” Simms said. “No doubt. He’s got limited upside, but he’s more talented than he gets credit for.

“Big, tough, underrated feel for the game. The thing I love about him is he is fearless. He wants to stand in the pocket and make throws. And that’s where I like him.”

The Lions are expecting Goff to make more big plays from the pocket as he did last year. Dan Campbell’s offense finished fourth in yards and fifth in points during 2022.

If Goff avoids regressing, the Lions could make history in 2023. Detroit has never been ranked top five in yards and scoring two consecutive years since the start of the Super Bowl era.

The last time the Lions accomplished that feat was during the 1953 and 1954 seasons.

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Alan Lawrence
Alan Lawrence
3 months ago

Florio is a fluke. You can’t judge a team by the past when they have a whole new front office, all new coaching staff and the youngest team in the NFL! Just because LA’s coach and GM couldn’t get continued success out of Goff et al puts no shade on Campbell and Holmes. Of course Detroit did leave a big void in LA’s IQ level when they signed Holmes. They are BUILDING the right way. In over 50 yrs of watching the Lions I’ve never seen a more complete team from top to bottom! And they aren’t done yet! Hope you and Chris are starving by seasons end because you guys are going to be eating a lot of crow!