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Lamar Jackson is a very good NFL quarterback, but Jared Goff is hands-down a better fit for the Detroit Lions. On Wednesday, the news broke that the Baltimore Ravens have elected to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, which means he is free to look for a long-term contract with another team. If another team makes him an offer, the Ravens would then have an opportunity to match that offer or let him walk for a pair of first-round draft picks.
Jared Goff vs. Lamar Jackson: 5 Reasons Why Goff is the Better Fit for Detroit Lions
One of the most important qualities for a quarterback is accuracy, and Goff has shown to be more accurate than Jackson. In the 2022 season, Goff had a completion rate of 65.1% compared to Jackson's 62.3%. Goff also had a higher passer rating of 99.3 compared to Jackson's 91.1. In terms of throwing the deep ball, Goff completed 92 passes of 20+ yards (5.41 per game) in 2022, while Jackson completed 39 passes of 20+ yards (3.25 per game).
Goff has demonstrated strong leadership skills both on and off the field. He has led his team to two playoff appearances and a Super Bowl appearance, and his teammates have spoken highly of his leadership qualities. While Jackson is a talented player, he has yet to prove himself as a true leader on the field. In fact, with the Ravens’ season on the line vs. the rival Cincinnati Bengals, Jackson did not even show up to support his team. Yes, he was injured, but you cannot tell me that Goff would not have traveled with the Lions in a must-win situation. True leaders are there for their teammates, Jackson is not a true leader.
Goff has shown better pocket presence than Jackson, meaning he is able to move around in the pocket and make throws under pressure. In the 2022 season, Goff was sacked 23 times compared to Jackson's 26 times (in five fewer starts). Goff's ability to avoid sacks and make throws in tight situations is a valuable asset for any team. In 17 games in 2022, Goff only threw seven interceptions, while Jackson threw seven interceptions in five fewer games. In fact, over the past two seasons, Goff has thrown 48 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, while Jackson has thrown 33 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
Goff has shown more consistency in his performance than Jackson. While Jackson has had some spectacular games, he has also had some lackluster performances. Goff, on the other hand, has been a steady performer throughout his career, consistently putting up solid numbers and leading his team to victories. Goff is certainly not flashy, and he is not going to make the ESPN Top 10 Plays of the Week very often, but he is smart with the football, and he has proven that he can lead a Top 5 offense.
Though Jared Goff could get $40-45 million on his next contract, I expect Jackson to demand a 5-year, $250 million or so contract that is fully guaranteed. I am not comfortable at all giving a quarterback who has never been able to start every game of a season a mega contract that is fully guaranteed. Heck, Jackson has missed 10 games over the past two seasons, which could signal that his body is already starting to break down.
Bottom Line: Jared Goff is a better fit for the Detroit Lions when compared to Lamer Jackson
While Lamar Jackson is certainly a talented quarterback, I believe that Jared Goff has demonstrated superior accuracy, experience, leadership, pocket presence, and consistency. These qualities make him a valuable asset to any team and a better overall quarterback than Jackson. In addition, when you then take into consideration what Jackson reportedly wants in a contract, compared to what Goff is likely to ask for, keeping Goff around over Jackson is a no-brainer for Lions' GM Brad Holmes.