When the Detroit Lions face the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football, Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels will be facing a familiar foe in Jared Goff, whom he faced in Super Bowl LIII as a member of the Los Angeles Rams. That matchup went McDaneil's way, which hopefully won't be a pattern come Monday Night. Earlier in the week, McDaniels spoke about the growth and maturity he's noticed in Jared's game since their Super Bowl matchup.
Josh McDaniels praises Jared Goff's maturity and growth
Comparing Jared Goff's early career with his current performance, Coach McDaniels highlighted Goff's evolution. While Goff was known for deep throws and big plays in his early years, he has matured into a more efficient and smart quarterback. Goff's decision-making, protection of the ball, and ability to strike a balance between aggression and caution have significantly improved. Coach McDaniels commended Goff's development as he prepares to face the Lions.
Goff has been playing elite football this season, completing 68% of his passes and taking care of the football with an 11:4 touchdown-to-INT ratio. He's throwing for nearly 7.4 yards per attempt and is one of the main reasons the Lions have played so well this season. And, he's the fifth highest-graded passer according to Pro Football Focus.
One of the key parts of McDaniels' comments came in the way that Goff is distributing the football to his skills guys. He said, “Early in his career it was a lot of deep throws, a lot of deep balls, a lot of big plays. Obviously, the L.A. [Rams] had an incredibly explosive team and he was a big part of why that was that way. I think if anything, as he's matured, you see his efficiency go up, his decision-making is really good. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes with the ball. He's aggressive when he should be and he's really smart and protects the ball if something's not there.”
Goff isn't taking a ton of shots downfield, and that can be attributed to the scheme and the weapons he has. In Los Angeles, he had receivers that would stretch defenses, in Detroit (and until Jameson Williams figures things out) he has really good receivers that find zones and sit in them with really good hands. He's done a really good job of distributing, which leads to McDaniels' comments on him taking care of the football and leading the Lions' offense.
The Bottom Line
There's a respect that exists from Josh McDaniels toward the Lions' lead man. As the Lions look to get back on the winning bandwagon on Monday Night, they'll need a good effort from Jared Goff and their offense, something McDaniels knows is possible and has been preparing for. But, regardless of their plans, the more mature and experienced Jared Goff will be why the Lions end up on top in front of the national audience.