The Lions managed just six points in last Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, but not for lack of opportunities. Jared Goff let a couple big plays slip through his fingers, like the two fumbles he lost in the fourth quarter.
The most obvious miss came midway through the second quarter when Goff drifted out of a clean pocket and was sacked for a 10-yard loss when he had Kalif Raymond wide open down the field for what should have been a 59-yard touchdown and a 10-6 lead.
Goff also failed to step up into the pocket for what should have been a pitch-and-catch to T.J. Hockenson midway through the fourth quarter with the Lions trailing by three. He was forced into an incompletion by pressure from the Cowboys and picked off near midfield on the very next play.
Throughout the game on the radio broadcast, color commentators and former offensive linemen TJ Lang and Lomas Brown made note of Goff's tendency to drift his way into trouble. (You can see the miss to Raymond below.) And Goff acknowledged it himself when asked about their assessment Tuesday on the Karsch and Anderson Show.
"I agree on Sunday, for sure. I probably did that twice, where I just got a little drifty on them," he said. "I need to help them by stepping up forward in the pocket and trust those guys."
After a strong start to the season, Goff's play has taken a turn for the worse. He's committed six turnovers the past two games, over which time the Lions have scored six total points. Asked about his two interceptions against the Cowboys, one an under-thrown deep ball to Josh Reynolds, the other a back-foot pass over the middle to Tom Kennedy, Goff said, "Wasn't great throws."
"I know the receivers want to be competitive on some of those, but wish I could have put it in a better spot," he said.
Detroit's offense lit the league on fire the first four games of the season under Ben Johnson. It still ranks fourth in the NFL in yards, but the quarterback has to step up -- and he knows it.
"It just comes down to all 11 executing," said Goff. "At times you have 10 guys doing it right and one guy doing it wrong, and that one guy can ruin a play. It’s no one in particular. A lot of times it’s me. So just making sure I’m right and making sure everyone’s on the right page."
Johnson, at least, is the right guy to fix things. Goff said the Lions' first-year offensive coordinator is "as good as I’ve been around. Knows how to coach every position and we are extremely comfortable with each other and have a great dialogue every week."
Hopefully for Goff, that will lead to better results Sunday against the Dolphins.
"Just need to be better. Need to take advantage of the opportunities when they’re there. The season is full of ebbs and flows, and need to find a way offensively to get back on the better side of that," said Goff.
Other highlights from Goff's interview on 97.1 The Ticket
On right tackle Penei Sewell: "He’s been incredible, he’s been doing a great job. I think we all he's capable athletically, but his leadership and who he’s becoming in that locker room and how much trust I have in him and we all have in him, he’s a guy we rely on in both the run and the pass and does a really good job, man. He’s a tremendous player and will be for a long time."
On the defense turning a corner: "Last week’s practice was really good for them. They flew around and started to have that feeling of creating turnovers and causing the ball to come out and it showed up on Sunday. That’s a really good offense, good quarterback, good skill position group and they did a good job wrangling them in and then getting a timely turnover. That's what good defenses do, so certainly, I think they’re on their way."
On which defensive players have stood in practice: "Okudah. And I've been saying that since training camp. I thought he had a good camp last year and unfortunately got hurt in Week 1, but I’m a guy that throws against him every day and he consistently shows up and does a good job."
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