Lions hot topics: Jared Goff vs. Matthew Stafford by the numbers
The real question for the Detroit Lions
It may not seem like a big drop-off for the Detroit Lions to go from the sixteenth quarterback to the twenty-fourth but it requires some context. On either side of Stafford’s ratings are Kyler Murray and Matt Ryan, whereas Goff barely beat rookie Joe Burrow and was below a subpar season by Ben Roethlisberger.
Which two guys would you rather be mentioned with?
The reality is that Stafford was in the top-half of quarterbacks, Goff was in the bottom-10 of NFL starters according to performance analysis in 2020. In 2019, they ranked Stafford 6th (69.6) and Goff 25th (48.5). The 2018, Goff’s second Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl year, Total QBR rankings were flipped with Goff ranking 11th (63.6) and Stafford 24th (51.3). In 2017, Goff’s first Pro-Bowl year, saw him ranked 18th (52.0), with Stafford still ranked above him at 9th (61.7).
In summary, the ESPN Total QBR ratings are not definitive in answering the question of who the better quarterback is but because it rates every play the player was involved in, it can provide some objective input about how each man helped his team individually. It cannot predict either man’s future, though.
To date, it would seem to suggest that current Detroit Lions quarterback, Jared Goff, is somewhere near an average starting quarterback but capable with talent and blocking; Stafford stacks up as having developed into a near Top-10 NFL field general, with the floor of being bottom-10 among starters if he is not healthy, as he was in 2018 with a back injury. Perhaps Goff’s trajectory will be similar in his next five years.
Maybe we should all cross our fingers at the same time???
Whatever the case, Goff is here to stay for at least two years and Matthew Stafford is off to Los Angeles and is not our quarterback any longer.
Do with these findings what you will. As Lions fans, we hope that Goff can return to his 2018-level of performance and perhaps even greater but most Detroit Lions fans won’t forget Stafford soon, either. The good news is that soon real football will be here and we’ll put this on hold. We’re sure it will come up again.