Lions quarterback Jared Goff was a pretty prolific blitz beater in 2021

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Jared Goff was hardly without flaw in his first season as the Lions quarterback, but he was very good in an area that is pretty important.

Jared Goff’s first season with the Detroit Lions was a tale of two parts. In his first nine starts he posted an 84.0 passer rating with a stretch where he had one touchdown pass over five games. Over his final five starts, he ranked among the top passers in the league with a 107.1 rating.

Goff’s pass protection naturally improved with the return of left tackle Taylor Decker from injury around midseason. As a decidedly immobile quarterback, protection is important for him as is getting rid of the ball quickly if at all possible.

Goff was among the worst quarterbacks in the league last year, if not the worst quarterback in the league year, in terms of air yards per attempt, average depth of throw or any other metric that reflects downfield throwing/aggressiveness. There’s almost certainly no changing that about his game at this point, though his yards per attempt and adjusted yards per attempt rose a yard or more over his closing five games compared to his first nine starts.

Jared Goff was among the best quarterbacks vs. the blitz in 2021

According to NFL Inside Edge, and credit to Lions Wire, here’s where Goff ranked in a couple categories against the blitz last season (minimum 86 pass attempts against the blitz).

Passer rating vs. the blitz: 10th (103.0)
Completion percentage vs. the blitz: 3rd (68.1 percent-64-for-94)

Only Patrick Mahomes and Teddy Bridgewater had a better completion percentage than Goff against the blitz in 2021. Matthew Stafford was a close fourth (68 percent), with Joe Burrow rounding out the top-five (67.7 percent).

Goff was also one of just four quarterbacks who did not throw an interception against the blitz last season, joining Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Carson Wentz.

If opponents want to blitz Goff a lot in 2022, and there’s certainly a case to do so even though he was good against it last year, the Lions have pieces around him (if all are/will be healthy) to burn that aggressiveness on a regular basis.

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