It's getting real for Goff: "The whole year has been frustrating"


A month ago, Jared Goff was saying the right things, the resolute things. Now he's saying the real things, because 0-8 is 0-8.

"One of the tougher ones I’ve been a part of," Goff said after the Lions were trounced at home by the Eagles. "Tough to swallow, man. It wasn’t good in any phase and we know that."

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It was especially bad on offense. The Lions didn't score a point until the fourth quarter, when they were down by 41. It took them nine drives to reach the red zone. (Hey, they converted!) They put up fewer yards of total offense than the Eagles put up rushing yards. They were booed back to the sideline again and again.

It felt like a repeat of the Bengals game, only worse. The entire game plan went up in smoke. Which has to be frustrating for a quarterback who's spent most of his career turning game plans into wins. Goff arrived in Detroit with the second most QB wins since 2017 and leads the league in losses in 2021.

"Very frustrating," he said. "Very frustrating. The whole day is frustrating. The whole year has been frustrating. We say a lot of things, we want to do a lot of things and then we’re unable to execute. Over and over again we just – we can say things all we want. We can say, ‘We need to do this. We need to do that.' Until we change our habits and until we change who we are, nothing will change.”

A bit different than the quarterback who vowed after a crushing Week 3 loss to the Ravens that "the gut punches will stop." A bit different than the guy who said, "That optimistic mindset, that belief in each other, that belief that this is our day, that we’re going to win, that, ‘Hey man, this isn’t the same old thing every game,’ that belief will remain."

Through eight games, Goff is second in the NFL in pass attempts. That's how often the Lions have played from behind. He's tied for 22nd in touchdowns and he's 28th in yards per attempt. And that just about sums up the Lions offense, which Dan Campbell described Sunday as "anemic." Tight end T.J. Hockenson, one of Goff's only weapons, said "you never get used to" the losing.

"All the guys in there, we’re all down," he said. "We’ve all got a pit in our stomach."

The defense wasn't much better Sunday. The Lions allowed the Eagles to rush for 236 yards, more than double their season average. They forced a punt on the opening drive, then allowed points on every drive thereafter. They allowed touchdowns on four of the Eagles' five red zone trips, which actually marked an improvement for the worst red zone defense in the NFL. Safety Tracy Walker took the words out of Goff's mouth.

“It’s very frustrating," he said. "Honestly, you see on the emotions on my face that I’m not too happy. Bottom line, we’ve got to be better. I know it’s getting repetitive, we keep coming up here saying that, but we’ve got to get way better as a team.”

Michael Brockers is used to turning game plans into wins, too. He's used to making trips to the playoffs with Goff. All this losing in Detroit is taking its toll.

“It’s definitely emotional because I love this game, man," Brockers said. "I love this game. I love playing this game, I love winning, even though I haven’t this year, but I know what it takes to get there. I know what it takes to win, I know what it takes to turn it around. It goes back to what I said earlier, man: We can't think about, ‘Oh man, that’s on me.' We have to be better for each other. We have to think that way."

On the final day of October, September's optimism was a distant memory. But the sun will rise in November. And the Lions will get back in the saddle after their Week 9 bye. Asked if the team is starting to lose confidence, Goff did say this:

"I don’t. I really don’t. And I think that’s been the theme of the whole year. As bad as it’s been, the effort's there. We’ve got young guys who are fighting, we’ve got veteran guys who are fighting and we love each other.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Rey Del Rio / Getty