From Malcolm Hart on Twitter, this forum may want to keep a printout handy
There should be a “ missing content “ disclaimer here. His play is a big reason for this current win streak but that is the thing, winning cures everything. When the Lions were 1-6 the criticism of every coach and player was warranted.
This was made for me, wasn’t it…
Where do I sign?
Let’s focus on Detroit’s offense. It’s why the Lions would be a frightening playoff matchup. And I’ll start at quarterback.
The supposed-to-just-be-a-bridge-quarterback Jared Goff now has back-to-back contests with a passer rating over 115, and his average passer rating over the last five is 106.42. He’s completed 69.2% of his throws in that time frame and is making impeccable throws like this one every week.
Want more Lions statistical love? I got you. Since Week 10, Detroit’s offense is second in the NFL in EPA per play (+0.176), trailing only the mighty [Chiefs](Kansas City Chiefs News, Scores, Status, Schedule - NFL - CBSSports.com). Unsurprisingly, the Lions have averaged 32.8 points per in that stretch.
Because offensive linemen still, sadly, don’t get the amount of credit they deserve as part of explosive offenses, I’m compelled to mention how well the Lions are blocking of late. During this six-game ascension in the NFC standings, Detroit’s bruising front has allowed the eighth-lowest pressure rate in the NFL, and only Tom Brady and Dak Prescott have been sacked at a lower rate than Goff’s 3.0%.
Everyone knows, it’s vital to be playing your best football close to the playoffs. Getting healthy helps that.
And finally, the Lions offense is healthy. Jameson Williams has now appeared in two games and caught his first NFL touchdown against the Vikings. D.J. Chark, who missed nearly two months after a late September injury, is now fully up to speed, with consecutive games of over 90 receiving yards. Then there’s Goff’s trusty bud, Josh Reynolds, and budding superstar Amon-Ra St. Brown.
St. Brown is 10th in receiving yards through Week 14, and only five pass catchers (Travis Kelce, Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, and Tyreek Hill) have more catches for first downs. He’s rapidly gone from fun underdog story as a rookie to a preeminent slot weapon.
Credit is also due to offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, a 36-year-old with deep ties to Campbell. He served as the pass-game coordinator over the final nine weeks of the 2021 season, and the Lions were ninth in EPA per play once Johnson stepped into a key role offensively.
This was a good read and I agree. To go back when we were 1-6 to today. This turn around is mind blowing. Goff has got better from a mechanics standpoint and decision making. Guys like Anzalone are playing the best ball of his career. We are getting major contributions from rookies and 2nd year players. The only conclusion I can come to is we have a coaching staff that fixed a problem mid season are putting guys in positions to make plays and coaching guys up. Nobody wants to play the Lions right now!
Finally something I don’t need to eat crow on.
I didn’t think the Stafford for Goff trade was that much of a downgrade for the Lions at the time. Frankly, I was excited to see the Lions get younger at the QB position + get 2 1sts and a 3rd to boot.
Last year, I ate crow and admitted Stafford was better than I ever gave him credit for. It tasted like shit. I didn’t enjoy a minute of it…but after Stafford brought the Rams a SB I had no option but to admit Stafford was/is better than I ever gave him credit for.
This year though, it’s nice to see that I wasn’t full blown off the mark on the entire thing. I genuinely thought Goff wasn’t much “worse” than Stafford and still had potential + time to improve.
I’ve always said that I think the Lions would need one of the truly special/elite QB’s to climb out of this 70 year hole they’ve been in. It’s looking like I could be wrong about that as well. The Lions may be one of those teams that reforms and becomes a contender as a team as opposed to reforming on the shoulders of a (few) great individual(s) such as a Mahomes or Brady type guy. I love to see it.
Regardless, of who’s right or wrong over the years with all of our evaluations, the best part is simply seeing the Lions win and being on the fringes of success.
I thank the football gods. I really, really did not want to see firings + starting over. I really love this staff, this team, their direction, and their ability to learn and grow…which is so very different from previous regimes who knew they were right and everyone else was wrong.
Last year, a ton here ate crow when Matt won his Super Bowl (even though some of you did so begrudgingly, and with the dumbest of asterisks).
Regardless, I’m thrilled to pay the debt this year.
Neah, I’m sticking to my guns here.
I give all the credit in the world to Goff. He’s played well. I root for him. He’s a Lion.
But he is what he has always been. A pretty good QB when everything is perfect. An excellent game manager. We’re giving him what he needs and he is delivering.
Still think we should have taken Fields, but I love Penei Sewell. It was a perfect choice to keep Goff safe and comfortable. Still think passing on a QB last year was also the right call. And I believe they should take one should they think highly of him this draft.
Early last year it wasn’t just the terrible play but his body language that had me really down on Goff. We didn’t have any weapons and A. Lynn was clearly a terrible OC though. When Campbell and Johnson took over the offense in week 11 last year, Goff has looked like a completely different QB. The emergence of St. Brown happened at the exact same time.
A year later, he looks very confident and is in complete control of the offense, very freaken impressed! Campbell and Ben Johnson deserve a ton of credit as well for creating an offense that works to Goff’s strengths.
What’s really exciting is we are just scratching the surface here, St. Brown in year 2, Sewell year 2, Jamo is a rookie. The offense is just getting started.
Im one of the few on this board that doesn’t need too.
I think you’re wrong here. Fields is a RB playing QB you’re not going to have success with that style of play. I will take Goff all day everyday over Fields and any QB in this draft. The only way I take a QB is if I think I’m looking at the next Mahomes or Allen.
Why? Getting the next Goff on a rookie contract is a win for the Lions.
This is such horseshit.
Goff has proven all of this year and a chunk of last that he doesn’t need everything to be perfect to merely be okay.
While the turmoil this year is less than the flaming garbage barge that was the beginning of last year, there’s still been a bunch of injuries on the OL and in the WR corps. The pass blocking was somewhere between below average and among the worst in the league the first part of the season, and there was a stretch where the healthy WR corps was Raymond and Tom Kennedy.
Even with all of that, Goff is still #8 in yards, #5 in TD, #7 in rating, #6 in QBR, and #9 in lowest INT%.
When things aren’t all-time bad, Goff is really good. That’s a world different than the “things have to be perfect for him to be acceptable” argument.
Anyone remember the criticism of Jared Goff in the early part of the 2021 season (when A Lynn was the OC), that he couldn’t throw the deep ball?
Jared Goff on throws 10+ yards vs. Vikings:
10/12 203 yards
3 TDs/0 INTs
Perfect 158.3 Passer Rating #RestoreIt
Honestly it starting to look more and more that A. Lynn just had no idea what he was doing. He had very little experience calling plays before we hired him and it showed. He was a decent head coach, but doesn’t mean you can design and call plays.
I owe my apology to Campbell. While I never questioned his ability to build a culture, I have questioned his ability to manage a game. They were losing close games and hurting themselves with too many penalties. The regression of the defense early in the season is still a head scratcher to me. Was Pleasant truly the problem? Was he breaking down communication and making guys second guess their responsibilities? Why does it take 7 games to figure that out last year on offense and this year on defense?
In the last 6 weeks, DC has seemingly managed the games much better. The team has cut way down on penalties and is winning the turnover battle. The defense still has holes but it making plays and looking like a unit.
Campbell is the one I questioned if he could overcome the management issues. He didn’t seem to have that It factor that wins you close games. That’s changed 180 degrees and I’m sorry Dan I didn’t give you more time.
Maybe it took time to adjust to not having Capers anymore!? I really don’t think we are going to ever find out. It couldn’t all be Pleasant’s fault? We also still gave up 425 yards passing yesterday to Cousins, still some big issues in the secondary.
Amazing what having healthy quality receivers can do
On September 16, 2016, Lynn was promoted to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the Bills when Greg Roman was fired. When asked what he wants his offensive identity to be, Lynn responded, “I want to play smart, physical football. I want to be explosive down the field… We’re going to play a little bit faster and see if we can put a little pressure on the defense. Just execute.” Lynn made his debut as offensive coordinator against the Arizona Cardinals, pulling out a 33–18 win.
Beyond his time in Buffalo, I believe he had a significant role in the Chargers offense.
With the Lions, the offense he designed was just too conservative.
We never saw any of that! The best move Campbell ever made was firing him and promoting Johnson. Look at this offense since.