NFL analyst gives Lions quarterback Jared Goff some new 'doubter' fuel

Jared Goff says he plays better when he's doubted, and an ESPN analyst has given new fuel to that fire.

Upon signing a new four-year, $212 million contract extension with a record $73 million signing bonus, Lions quarterback Jared Goff can surely set aside his doubters. He has believers in the organization, he's gotten paid, and that's all that matters.

But even in his press conference to talk about his contract extension, Goff said he plays "best when I'm doubted." The lame critique he gave the Detroit media in April proves he'll probably never let go of noticing those who doubt him. Which is fine, since athletes should find motivation wherever they best think they can. The chip on his shoulder after Sean McVay and the the Rams traded him will likely never go away, no matter how the rest of his career goes.

Goff acknowledged in that post-contract press conference that he'll have to be more inventive when it comes to finding doubters about his place among his quarterback peers.

Well, if he wants to find fresh fuel to that "doubters" fire, some has been given to him.

ESPN analyst offers Jared Goff some new "doubter" fire

Statistical projections in May being what they are in terms of having great value, ESPN's Mike Clay has gone-team-by-team and done some. There's a fantasy football layer to the exercise, since that's Clay core job at ESPN.

Clay has Goff as the 22nd-ranked quarterback. Even those who don't see Goff as that good of a fantasy quarterback would call that a little low (low-end QB2).

In terms of sheer stats Clay has Goff throwing for 3,754 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, while projecting two missed games. Clay had Goff as the 17th-ranked quarterback around this time last year, which the Lions' signal caller of course exceeded. There's no good rationale for dropping him in this year's rankings, shy of the idea he may miss a couple games and injuries are naturally unpredictable.

Goff may not ever know or care about the stat projections of an ESPN analyst who has roots in fantasy football. But if he wants to find a doubter, Clay' early stat projection for 2024 can be used as such.


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