Jared Goff is in some very rare air based on 2023 passing depth data

It's not necessarily a shock to see, but Lions quarterback Jared Goff is in some very rare air when looking at overall passing proficiency last season.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Good or bad, we know what Jared Goff can and can't do as a quarterback. When he's well-protected, "on schedule", etc. there aren't many quarterbacks in the league who are better. Every quarterback has some level of drop-off when they're pressured, but there's data that says Goff's drop-off when pressured is in a class of its own.

The Lions fully confirmed their faith in Goff via a nice contract extension this offseason. Not that he has ever been inclined to leave Detroit, as he would not find a similar situation anywhere else.

Whatever your angle on Goff is, and it can certainly be one way or the other depending on the specific context of the moment, you can find numbers to back it up. Against the blitz, with/without pressure, off play-action, to certain depths/areas of the field, snap to throw timing, under center vs. shotgun, etc.

Pro Football Focus recently went in-depth on how quarterbacks did by passing depth last season, noting the top-10 in each category ranked by PFF passing grade and showing passing yards to each area of the field.

Jared Goff in some rare company in overall passing proficiency last season

In short passing (under 10 yards) last season, Goff came in with the seventh-best PFF passing grade (79.3) and his 2,385 yards to that distance were the most.

In intermediate passing (10-19 yards), Goff had the eighth-best PFF passing grade (90.8) with the second-most yards (1,471).

On deep passes (20-plus yards), Goff had the ninth-best PFF passing grade (92.7) with 813 yards (second-lowest among the top-10 deep passers by PFF grade).

In summarizing the piece, despite a dismal place for him in the site's quarterback rankings heading into the 2024 season, PFF's Jim Wyman shined a positive light on Goff in terms of the passing depth metrics from last year.

"Jared Goff and Dak Prescott were the only quarterbacks to feature on all three lists, and they finished close to each other in ranking. Goff ranked seventh in short passes, eighth in intermediate and ninth in deep passes, while Prescott ranked eighth, ninth and seventh in those categories, respectively. On the whole, Goff and Prescott were extremely productive, as Prescott ranked second in overall regular-season passing grade, at 89.2, while Goff finished sixth, at 84.3."

While other quarterbacks outdid him in one or two passing depths last year, at least based on PFF's grades, no one outdid Goff in all three passing depths and (as noted) only Prescott was also top-10 in all three. This data puts a spotlight on what Goff does well, and in an overall sense Ben Johnson has designed an offense that will accentuate those strengths on a regular basis.


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