Jared Goff has to challenge defenses
For Jared Goff, he has spent his time so far in training camp consistently checking down to his backs and tight ends.
There is nothing wrong with this practice when the deep receivers are blanketed. Yet so far in camp, there have been opportunities to make a play down the field and Jared has hesitated to make those plays.
This is the biggest concern. Since Goff and the Rams lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, checking down has become his mantra. My point? Yes, the Rams ground game wasn’t as effective, but once defenses started realizing Jared was doing nothing but checking down, they started anticipating it. This was when the turnovers started to come in bunches.
Because once the defense starts creeping up and anticipating the short passes, that will not only cause the passing game to struggle, but it will also lead to stacking the box more against the run. The overall results tend to lead to more punting than scoring. At least when the offense doesn’t turn the ball over.
He who hesitates hinders the offense. Goff doesn’t have to be a gunslinger, but he does have to challenge defenses when the opportunity is there.
It is literally on Goff to stretch the defense on occasion. If he doesn’t then the same results that occurred in Los Angeles from always checking down will happen here in Detroit.
We can probably all agree that the Lions receivers are perhaps the weakest position on this team and that throwing short to tight end T.J. Hockenson or D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams out of the backfield may be their best bets but without the occasional attempt down the field even Hockenson, Swift and Williams will have little room to operate as opposing defenses sit on them.
We are still in the early stages of training camp and perhaps there is a reason Goff hasn’t gone downtown when the opportunity is at its least risky in a practice setting, but come September when games are won and lost by the ability of a team to efficiently run its system and keep the defense guessing, omitting the deep pass completely will prove costly.