Lions quarterback Jared Goff was the best throwing one particular route last year

We know what Jared Goff does and doesn't do well, and he threw one route better than any other NFL quarterback last season.
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Not many starting quarterbacks in the NFL have as much of a dichotomy between what his best and worst looks like than Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. When he's good, he can be really, really good. When he's bad, he barely looks like an NFL quarterback at times.

Last season was an example of Goff's best. He was efficient/careful with the ball, kept clean of pressure, hits and sacks and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson worked closely with him to design the offense around what he likes and does well.

There are certainly routes Goff is more comfortable, and better, throwing than others. That doesn't make him unique, but it's another way Johnson can design and call plays to get the best from him. On that note, there's this from Warren Sharp ranking quarterbacks last year by Expected Points Added (EPA)/attempt passing between the numbers.

Jared Goff was the best in NFL throwing one specific route last season

This week, Pro Football Focus unveiled which quarterbacks graded out the best throwing each route type last season. Goff was the best throwing comeback routes.

The comeback route was one of the least successful routes in 2022. Quarterbacks attempted just 84 passes to comeback routes over the year — these passes were completed just 46.4% of the time, and not a single completion resulted in a score.

Only two quarterbacks earned passing grades of at least 80.0 on comeback routes — Jared Goff and Zach Wilson. Goff attempted only three comebacks, completing two for 32 yards, but all three attempts earned a positive PFF grade."

Jim Wyman, Pro Football Focus

Three attempts is a ridiculously small sample, rooted in the broader lack of success league-wide (and inherent degree of difficulty) on comeback routes that PFF noted. Zach Wilson being the second-best may also devalue Goff's place as the highest-graded throwing the route.

Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit reminded us what a comeback route is.

"If you don’t know, a comeback route is a 10 to 15-yard route that’s ended by the receiver turning back to the quarterback and angling their route to the sidelines. Think a curl route, but instead of curling to the inside, you curl to the sidelines."

Jeremy Reisman, Pride of Detroit

Goff was at or near his best for much of last season. Carrying that into this season will be a key, even critical, component to the Lions' success.

Related. 5 Lions most critical to team's success in 2023. 5 players who are the most critical to Detroit Lions success in 2023. dark