Mike Florio points out big potential fly in Detroit Lions' 2023 ointment

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches practice during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters in
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches practice during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters in / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Within the high expectations for the Detroit Lions this year, Mike Florio has pointed out a huge possible fly in that ointment.

The Detroit Lions followed going 8-2 in their last 10 games with a pretty active offseason. So hopes are high for the 2023 season, particularly with the NFC North looking ripe for the taking. For a franchise like this, expectations to win a division, maybe win a playoff game, etc. are new.

With the Raiders situation with Jimmy Garoppolo as the jumping off point, and head coach Josh McDaniels saying he had "no anxiety" about Garoppolo's status, Mike Florio and Myles Simmons did a draft of teams who should be anxious about their quarterback situations on last Friday's (June 2) "PFT Live."

Florio took the Lions, with naturally plenty to say.

"They have ridiculously high expectations,” Florio said on PFT Live on June 2. “For a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in several years, for a team that hasn’t won a postseason game since 1991, for a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year, they are the darlings of the NFL."

Mike Florio

"They’re only going to go as far as Jared Goff can take them. And there’s a chance that last year was a fluke. That last year was an aberration and that he regresses this year.”"

Mike Florio

"If I’m Dan Campbell, and I’m thinking about this team that I have that is pretty damn good on both sides of the ball. What’s the one way this can go haywire? It’s Jared Goff not playing like he did last year.”"

Mike Florio

Regression from Jared Goff is massive fly in the Detroit Lions' 2023 ointment

There's no denying Goff had one of the best seasons of his career last year. Just click/sort on any category on his Pro Football Reference page and it can be seen.

Proceeding that was three seasons of regression, kick-started by what the New England Patriots did to the Rams' offense in Super Bowl LIII. Over his last two seasons with the Rams (2019 and 2020), he had 29 interceptions in 31 games. His first season with the Lions (2021) was capped by a strong finish he carried into last year, otherwise his overall numbers would have been worse.

Goff will bring a top-five streak in league history for consecutive pass attempts without an interception into the 2023 season (324). That alone screams of looming regression. Which isn't necessarily to say he'll throw interceptions in bunches, just that going nine-plus games (or more) without one is not sustainable.

With the Lions' defense looking improved, Goff may not have to play as cleanly as he did late last season for the team to succeed. But his level of play will absolutely be a big fulcrum on which the Lions' fortunes pivot this year, and if he notably regresses...

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