Quarterback Jared Goff played some of the best football of his career the second half of last season as the Detroit Lions made a late playoff push that fell one game short, finishing 8-2 after a 1-6 start. Goff finished 2022 completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,438 yards with 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions to earn his third career Pro Bowl nod.
He didn't throw an interception after Week 9, throwing 15 touchdowns and losing just one fumble in the team's last nine games.
The way Goff finished last season playing some of the best football of his career, coupled with the return of offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said he sees a ton of confidence in his veteran starter this offseason.
"I think he has settled in with us. He has gotten very comfortable with what we want to do ... his confidence is really, it has really grown, and along the way he has matured as a quarterback," Campbell said Tuesday.
"I mean he is a better quarterback than he was (in LA), in my opinion. Because he can do more things. He is mentally on it, I mean we have come lightyears ahead of where he was two years ago when we walked in and just start teaching him protections, and really dove into that.
"He has a real good grasp of what we are doing, where the issues are, where the problems are, and that is something we really wanted him to get good at and he wanted to get good at, and he has worked at it, and he has improved, so that helps you."
Goff has attempted 324 consecutive passes since his last interception, which ranks as the fifth longest streak in NFL history. He established new franchise records in TD/INT ratio (4.14) and interception rate (1.2 percent), while tying for the best passer rating in team history (99.3) last season.
"I think as you get older and get more mature in the league that happens," Goff said Tuesday when asked about Campbell's comments about him currently being the best version of himself.
"I think I said it a handful of times last year that I was playing the best football of my career and I plan to continue to do that."
Goff certainly has more ownership of Detroit's offense than he had in his five seasons with the Rams. He and center Frank Ragnow are on the same page with protections, and Goff loves the fact that he and Johnson can dial into some of the finer details of this scheme.
"We can get into the weeds of it a little bit and it's been fun," Goff said.
View behind-the-scenes photos from 2023 Detroit Lions media day on Monday, June 5, 2023.
Goff ranked in the top 10 among NFL passers in 19 different categories last season, including touchdown/interception ratio (No. 1), completions of 25-plus yards (No. 2), games with a 100-plus passer rating (No. 3), multi-touchdown games (No. 6) and overall passer rating (No. 7).
Goff has been doing this long enough to know that things don't just automatically pick up where they left off from the previous year without putting in the work. He knows the team has to get off to a better start to the season than they have the last two years he's been here. He knows he has to continue to take care of the football while also spreading it around and taking some shots. He recognizes the higher expectations out there for this team from the fan base and the national media.
"As great of a same page that Ben and I were on (last year), how can we do that even better and be even more on the same page for 17 weeks instead of maybe 10 or 11 last year?" Goff said. "And just get more consistent. Keep being on the same page as my receivers and continue to work on my fundamentals as well, and always getting better."