The Detroit Lions defense rose up and played well last week, and Jared Goff seems to think it can happen again and again.
Not that it could have been much worse, and the end results haven’t always been good, but the Detroit Lions’ defense has generally been a little better lately. If not for Jared Goff coughing up four second half turnovers in Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions may have pulled off an upset there.
The Lions’ defense intercepted Aaron Rodgers three times in Week 9, and the Packers scored just nine points as Detroit hung on for a win. Goff was not great (14-for-26, 137 yards, two touchdowns), and he deserved to throw more than one interception, but the defense drove a victory for once. Also for once, Goff was not clearly the most inept of the two quarterbacks on the field last Sunday.
To be fair, Goff and the Lions’ offense have had to try to overcome plenty of bad defensive performances over the last two seasons.
But the Lions’ signal caller seems to think the defense can bail him out more often.
Jared Goff rings hollow with comments about the Lions’ defense and himself
Goff spoke to the media on Wednesday, and he naturally talked about the Lions’ defensive performance last week (via SI.com).
"Yeah, it was huge. It was really big. I think especially after I had the turnover, them getting one (an interception of Rodgers) immediately. That’s huge. I’ve certainly got a lot of things to clean up. But, when I feel like I don’t have to play perfect, and I can make a mistake, and the defense can have my back as we do have theirs, that makes things a whole lot smoother, and a whole lot easier for us to overcome,"
Goff looks like he’s afraid to make a mistake at times. But that dates back to when he was with the Rams, who had a good, proven defense. He is also rarely able to stem the tide when he makes a mistake (see second half of the Dallas game), which tends to put the defense in bad spots over and over.
Goff basically said he doesn’t have to play perfect if the Lions’ defense plays well. That’s not a revolutionary concept, in the name of complementary football. But an idea this defense can bail him out regularly is a hollow one, and the rise to the occasion for the Lions’ defense in Week 9 made it possible to overlook Goff’s lackluster performance in a victory.
Maybe that’s why Goff is hoping for repeat showings from the Lions’ defense, however unlikely it seems they’ll be. Then it’ll be easier to set aside his less than (and far from) “perfect” performances more often.