Detroit coughed up leads of 14-0 and 24-14 before losing 28-24. The implication there? They didn’t finish. This time around, that is going to have to be the focus for the Lions if they want to get the job done.
Quarterback Jared Goff knows that, and said that the key to the last game was in the finish. Detroit didn’t get it done that time, but as the season has worn on, they’ve learned how to get it done.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, December 7, Goff discussed what he saw as the difference in the first game and it was simple. The team didn’t finish the job.
“That was the difference, right? We thought we played well for most of that game probably up until the middle of the fourth quarter and weren’t able to finish it. In these last five weeks or so, we have been finishing games. We have been finishing the fourth quarter. We have been making those plays, so we’ll see if that can be the difference this week. It’s a good team we’re playing, and we’ll be ready to go,” Goff said.
Since that game, the Lions have one four out of five. They’ve put away wins against Chicago, Green Bay, the New York Giants and Jacksonville. In all of those games, the Lions made the plays they needed to on offense or defense to put teams away.
This time around, with an opponent they know, do the Lions have a bit of an advantage to rely on? Perhaps not so according to Goff, who understands there will be different wrinkles to rely on.
“(They’re the) same, different in some ways, but there’s much more film on them now, but yeah, we’ll look at that game a little bit and see what they did to us there. I don’t know how much it’ll factor into this week,” Goff said.
Regardless of what the Lions can learn, the team might simply have to finish a game better to pull out a win overall.
Goff: Lions on Positive Run of Wins
The only reason it matters, though, is because the Lions have managed to put themselves in a much better position with more wins in the last few weeks. As Goff explained, the season is about hot streaks one way or another, and the Lions have balanced things out after a shaky start to the season.
“It’s about runs. It’s about getting on runs and getting on the good side sometimes and the bad side sometimes. Unfortunately, we were on the bad side of one for a little while there and kind of coming back to the middle now with a good run,” Goff said. “We’ve always had the talent, we’ve always had the coaches, we’ve always had the people and I think now it’s starting to come together a little bit. Sure, we still have a lot of work to do to get ourselves in the spot to make the playoffs, but we’re on our way.”
The Lions will be even more on their way if they can figure out a way to put teams away consistently, especially the good teams they play such as Buffalo and Minnesota.
Detroit has let a few games slip away, but they’re starting to figure out how not to do that.
Goff Feeling Good About 2022 Play
So far this season, Goff is doing a nice job for the Lions. He is distributing the ball well and looking like a very effective communicator as well as a team leader.
Statistically, he’s been fantastic as well. Through Week 13, Goff has put up a very solid 19 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. Goff has thrown for a solid 3,022 yards and has been a quality game manager for the Lions. He’s avoided the big mistakes for the most part, and been a player who has looked very comfortable within the team’s offense.
As a result, Goff admitted that he feels as if he is in good shape right now with the team, and playing the best football that he has up to any point in his career.
“I do feel like I’m playing the best football in my career right now and starting to settle in a little bit. Ben (Johnson) and I have a good thing going and still a lot of work to do and it can always improve and look at ways to get better, but I am comfortable and hope to continue that through the season,” Goff said.
Detroit could keep Goff given what he has been able to do in leading a resurgent Lions offense most of the year, and that may be especially true given how comfortable he looks and feels.
If the Lions can put away more games including this one, that will only make Goff’s case to stay better off in the end.