When the Detroit Lions hired Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell this past offseason, it was a clear sign that the organization was rebuilding–––retooling if you ask Holmes. Because of that, logic dictates that the Lions would lose lots of games. After all, it’s a roster devoid of playmakers outside of the running back unit and T.J. Hockenson. However, the fashion they’ve lost their first five games is another story. And a nice portion of the blame has to go to Jared Goff.
He’s had a smooth ride of avoiding constructive criticism in the media and the Detroit Lions fanbase. It’s now time he faces the music. And the reality is that he has not played well this season. He’s, in large part, the biggest reason they cannot get into the endzone.
Right now, Jared Goff leads the NFL in fumbles. Of his six fumbles, he lost four of them. Along with that, he has three interceptions. Not to forget, his 36.9 quarterback rating is the 29th of all starting quarterbacks. Whether it’s an ill-advised throw after staring down his receivers or turning the ball over in the red zone, he’s proven to be the Lions’ biggest kryptonite in finding the endzone.
Dan Campbell acknowledged on Monday. He knows his quarterback is trying to win but he also knows Goff is not getting the job done.
“I think he’s trying to take chances, sometimes at a fault,” Campbell told reporters. “I think he’s trying to get it downfield, sometimes when maybe he ought to just go to the first look. And so look, one of those yesterday, Hockenson comes open on a hitch, just throw the hitch. And then we won’t have the issue.”
“We don’t have the sack-fumble. Just take what’s there…and then we don’t even have that mess.”
Campbell didn’t stop there, though. He acknowledged that he and his staff have some work to do moving forward. He noted that they need to do a better job of designing shots that Goff can hit, protecting him, and getting it downfield. Despite that, Campbell didn’t let his QB off the hook.
“Now, he’s got to take care of the football because this has shown up again,” said Campbell. “Here we go. We’re in the red zone. Why are we struggling to get touchdowns early in the [first] half? Because we get in the red zone, and we turn the ball over.”
“Otherwise, we might score, or we should score. But I think there’s a number of things we can help him with.”
Jared Goff has seven touchdowns this season.
However, in four of the Lions’ five games this season, Goff hasn’t registered a first-quarter touchdown. And of the last three games, he hasn’t thrown a touchdown in the first half.
That is a recipe for losing football.
As noted, the Detroit Lions do not have the best collection of talent outside of the players mentioned above. Amon-Ra St. Brown has the potential to become a playmaker for the Lions, but the verdict is still out. Regardless, the Lions aren’t winless because of a lack of talent.
They’re winless because of a lack of at least average quarterback play. And Jared Goff has to answer for that. Remember, he’s the one that said the gut punches would stop. Now he has to stop putting the Detroit Lions in a spot to take them.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.