The version of Jared Goff that will cost the Detroit Lions in critical games showed up on Sunday

It wasn't all his fault, but the bad version of Jared Goff was on full display for a big chunk of the day Sunday against the Bears.
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe it was the Lions having their eighth different starting offensive line combination on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, with rookie Colby Sorsdal starting a left guard in place of the injured Jonah Jackson (wrist/ankle). And there were a couple random occurrences that don't happen a lot.

But three interceptions will go on Jared Goff's stat sheet for Sunday's game. On the first, tight end Sam LaPorta ran into a defender and clearly was not on the same page with his quarterback. Another interception came off a tipped ball, and an ill-advised throw combined with a nice play by Bears linebacker T.J. Edwards on the other.

Goff should have had at least one other interception though, and Bears' cornerback Jaylon Johnson would have had a pick-six if he hadn't dropped it. Another miscommunication with LaPorta led to a throw so poor Johnson (again) couldn't quite catch it.

The Bears put pressure on Goff, and they were willing to come after him with the blitz. We know what Goff under pressure looks like, unfortunately.

After Goff's first interception, Eric Woodyard of ESPN offered this nugget.

The version of Jared Goff that will cost the Lions dearly in big games showed up on Sunday

The Lions' defense had a bad day at times on Sunday, which did not help. But Goff was well off his game for three quarters, against an opponent that should have been easier to handle. Bad days happen. It's a good thing this one happened in Week 11, and not in a game with higher stakes.

But if this kind of day happens against the Bears, at home, what prevents it from happening in a playoff game? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

A chunk of Lions' fans like to mention how Goff went to a Super Bowl with the Rams whenever anyone may dare to find flaws with him. They also forget, conveniently or not, how the Patriots' defensive game plan exposed him in that game. That performance also seemed to convince Rams' head coach Sean McVay he couldn't win a Super Bowl with Goff as his quarterback.

Goff has grown exponentially in terms of experience, command, confidence, etc. since his days with the Rams and it showed late in the game as he led a comeback. But the bad version of him does pop up at times, and on Sunday a team better than the Bears would have rendered the fourth quarter comeback moot.


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