Can a hungry Jared Goff quickly turnaround the Lions?
After massive changes this offseason, it will be hard for anyone to label the 2021 Detroit Lions as the Same Old Lions. Although, their season-ending record is projected to be all too familiar.
As is the situation most seasons, the focus surrounds the Lions’ quarterback position following the trade of longtime franchise passer Matthew Stafford earlier this offseason. In exchange for the 33-year old Stafford, Detroit got two future first-round draft selections, a third-rounder in April, and quarterback Jared Goff from the Los Angeles Rams.
Despite only being 26-years old, Goff has a laundry list of accomplishments including leading the Rams to four straight winning seasons, posting a Super Bowl appearance in 2018, and earning himself two Pro Bowl nominations in a relatively short NFL career so far.
Yet, despite his impressive résumé, Goff was a disputed scapegoat for the Rams underperforming expectations the past two seasons. That includes failing to return to the playoffs following their previous Super Bowl appearance and, just last year, being unable to get past the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the postseason despite recording a solid 10-6 record.
Goff obviously has a massive chip on his shoulder following his unceremonious exit from Los Angeles. And it’s that extra motivation that could spur the former number one overall selection in the 2016 draft to post a career performance in the Motor City.
Here’s what Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson told The Detroit News about his new quarterback who has something to prove in 2021.
"“[Goff’s] real hungry. He can speak on that, but we’re all excited to have him here. He’s such a smart player, good player. Just the things that he’s able to do with his arm and the things that he’s able to do in the pocket, just even in seven-on-seven (drills) is a cool thing.”"
While there are some major concerns surrounding the Lions’ patchwork wide receiver corps, Goff should benefit from having one of the most talented offensive lines protecting him in Detroit. And despite the lack of obvious weapons at wideout, Hockenson and second-year running back D’Andre Swift should help provide some firepower for Motown’s newest gunslinger.
But perhaps the biggest boost for Jared Goff in Detroit will be working with new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. As the former head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, Lynn helped to guide rookie passer Justin Herbert through a terrific rookie season where he threw for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions as a 15-game starter in 2020.