Quarterback Jared Goff was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after throwing for 353 yards with two touchdowns and leading Detroit to a 20-6 win in Tampa Bay last week.
If Goff continues to play at the level he's been playing at for six weeks now and the Detroit Lions continue to win games, there might be some bigger awards in Goff's future at the end of the season. He's been that good.
There's certainly a lot of football yet to be played, but Goff is squarely in the MVP conversation six games into the season. Among the league's signal callers Goff ranks fifth in passing yards (1,618), fourth in completion percentage (69.5), third in yards per attempt (7.97), fifth in touchdown passes (11) and he has the third highest passer rating (105.1) behind only Miami's Tua Tagovailoa (114.1) and San Francisco's Brock Purdy (111.9).
He's been accurate and explosive. He leads the NFL with 29 completions of 20-plus yards and his seven touchdowns from 20-plus is also tops in the league. Goff is distributing the ball all over the field as 13 different pass catchers have caught a ball this season. He is in complete command of Ben Johnson's offense and he is the No. 1 reason the Lions are 5-1 and tied for the NFL's best record a month and a half into the season.
"Yeah, look, I don't know what 'MVP' is or isn't these days, but I know this, he's playing at a very high level," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of his quarterback on Wednesday. "He's making the throws that are there, he's seeing the field and he's exactly what we need and he's doing exactly what we're asking him to do."
Goff talked Wednesday about his focus just continuing to be on winning games. He gave a lot of the credit to everyone else around him.
"A lot of hard work, obviously," Goff said. "When the team is playing well it makes my job a hell of a lot easier. Defense is giving us short fields, o-line is protecting really well, and I've got receivers downfield making plays. So, all that comes together, and I do my part and it makes it a lot easier for me."
Campbell changed up the schedule to begin this week, making Wednesday a lighter walkthrough instead of a full practice.
"We've been going pretty good. We've been playing physical opponents. We've got another one coming up and so, I wanted to back down today," he said. "It'll be a lot of mental work and then we'll do a little bit of just getting their heart rate up at the very end. Felt like that's what we need for today and then we're back in rhythm tomorrow."
The Lions will still have to produce a practice report on Wednesday but some of the injuries they've been dealing with and any possible returns from injury will be a little clearer on Thursday when they return to regular practice.
BIG TEST UPFRONT
Sunday just might be the biggest test yet for Detroit's offensive line.
The Ravens have a physical and athletic defensive front. A league-high 11 different Ravens have recorded at least one sack as part of Baltimore's NFL-best 24 sacks through six weeks. Baltimore has a 27-game streak of recording at least one sack, which also is tops in the NFL.
"You get one guy and you can turn – you can nudge one side, but when you're getting it from multiple threats on both sides of the center, it does, it makes it a little more difficult," Campbell said of the task his offensive line faces this week.
"And inevitably, what's going to come down – you can use some of your resources to take away one, maybe two, but at some point, somebody's going to have to have the one-on-one and that guy's got to win, he's got to win."
Detroit has allowed just 10 sacks all season, which is tied for the fifth best mark in the NFL. They are also top eight in the league in quarterback hurries allowed (44).
The Ravens' pass defense is No. 2 in the NFL, allowing just 163.2 yards through the air this season.
"It just requires more leg work and then it's like you're probably not going to get those plays when you know the guy is tired. It's just going to be every single play," left tackle Taylor Decker said of Baltimore's depth along their defensive line, especially on the edge.
"They have a lot of really good athletes, length and they are all good. They are one of the best in the league, for sure."
View photos of the starters for the Baltimore Ravens.
- The Lions are No. 1 in the NFL against the run allowing just 64.7 yards per game. Detroit hasn't allowed an opponent to rush for 100 yards in any contest this season. Baltimore is looking to make it 22 consecutive games Sunday rushing for at least 100 yards, which is currently the NFL's longest streak.
- The top three in the NFL in rookie receptions and yards are: 1. WR Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams – 50, 598 2. WR Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens – 35, 367 3. TE Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions – 29, 325.