Jared Goff is certainly set up for more success this season, and an ESPN analyst has run with the idea all the way to a bold prediction.
By all accounts, Jared Goff is ready to carry a strong finish to the 2021 season into the 2022 campaign. He had a strong offseaon and training camp, then in one series the Lions preseason opener he efficiently led the first-team offense on a touchdown drive.
Goff is too easy to overlook, or just outright dismiss as a mediocre or even bottom-tier starting quarterback. But it’s clear what he does well, and his strong finish to last season is backed by a couple deeper metrics.
There’s more talent around Goff this season. It’s also obvious he has a better connection with new offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, after speculation during last season that he and former offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn simply didn’t connect well.
ESPN analyst goes all the way to big prediction for Jared Goff
There’s plenty of positivity on a national scale for the Lions, which is certainly a little scary for fans.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano (subscription required) went team-by-team with a list of his potential surprises for this season. Goff was it for the Lions.
"I’m saying the Lions feel very, very good about how Goff has looked in camp, and he may be better set up for statistical success than you think he is,"
Graziano predicted Goff will set new career-highs in touchdown passes and passing yards this year. His career-bests in both categories came in 2018 with the Rams, when he threw for 4,688 yards with 32 touchdowns as he earned his second of back-to-back Pro Bowl selections.
Goff got very close to that high yardage mark in 2019 with 4,638 yards. But that was driven by a league-high 626 pass attempts, as he threw just 22 touchdowns with 16 interceptions.
So could Goff throw for, say, 4,700 yards with 35 touchdown passes?
That’s a per game average of 276.5 yards and 2.1 passing scores per game over a full 17 games. As expected he has not reached that yardage average mark since 2019 (289.9 yards per game), and in that 32-touchdown 2018 season he averaged exactly two touchdown passes a game.
It’s definitely possible, but the odds don’t seem great for Goff to set new career marks in yardage and passing touchdowns this season. Failing to reach those thresholds won’t mean he had a bad season though.