From a young roster with holes to a team that is still learning their way, the reasons for that were numerous. At this point, though, a big reason that many are choosing to highlight is Jared Goff at quarterback.
Goff has his ups and downs, and at times, struggles to make the big play in key moments to lead in a big win. That happened against Buffalo. With Detroit trying to drive for the win, Goff floated a pass on third and one out of the reach of DJ Chark, who couldn’t catch up to the pass.
As ESPN’s Bill Barnwell pointed out, Goff made some bad misreads on the play, and it’s more than possible that if the throw itself had been better, the team may have scored on the play.
ESPN college football analyst and former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III saw the dichotomy in the two quarterbacks and chose to highlight it. Josh Allen made the throws he needed to late, while Goff didn’t. As Griffin tweeted, that’s the difference at this point in time.
“That’s the difference between Josh Allen and Jared Goff in a nutshell. When the Lions needed a big throw Goff missed it. When the Bills needed a big throw, Josh Allen made it,” Griffin tweeted.
Having a quarterback that can make the big play is often a big difference in a close game. Detroit didn’t get the elite plays from Goff like Buffalo did from Allen. To that end, Griffin isn’t wrong at all with his analysis.
Football is a game of inches, and Goff didn’t find the needed inches to win the game. Allen did. In the end, for some, the outcome and the situation the Lions are in is that simple right now.
Jared Goff Didn’t Make Winning Plays for Lions
Goff Laments Poor Throw on Key Play
In terms of his own reaction to the play, Goff wasn’t too upset about the play call. He was, however, critical of his ability to make a big time throw in a big spot.
As he explained to the media after the game, while he would have loved the score, he did appreciate the call and the move that the Lions made.
“Frustrating to lose. I’d love to score a touchdown there on that last drive and maybe put it away. It’s tough there, you get caught in between, what do you want to do. If you lose there is no right decision. I believe the decision they made was the right one. Unfortunately they made it work on their side,” Goff said.
Specifically, Goff thought that if he had made a better throw, it would have made all the difference in the world.
“I wish I would have thrown a different ball. I thought the play call was great. Had some options with what to do there. If you had to do it again, do you do something differently? I don’t know, maybe. If I throw a better ball it might not matter,” he said.
Goff didn’t make the play in the end, but perhaps if faced with the situation again, he can execute better. It will be something to watch for the Lions in the future, and he will likely have to in order for the team to score some bigger wins down the stretch.
Goff Struggled In Key Moment for Lions
The Bills have an elite quarterback. The Lions have a decent quarterback. Elite quarterbacks win big games, while decent quarterbacks show well, but make just enough mistakes to frustrate.
This is where the Lions are at with Jared Goff right now. Goff is a good placeholder for the Lions, but it’s becoming clear he’s just a placeholder. The Lions need to find their version of Josh Allen in a player who can whip the ball deep and make winning plays with his legs.
Goff is a decent player, but decent doesn’t win titles or games in crunch time when they could go either way. The team will need to fill Goff with talent around him to have a chance to win big with him. For now, they don’t look to have the horses to get it done.
In time that could change, but for now, the Lions don’t have a player that can make the big throw according to some, including Griffin.