We need to talk about Jared Goff.

The Detroit Lions quarterback has not only continued his high level of play from last season — he’s improved upon it this year. As a result, the Lions look like every bit the contender we surmised they could be coming into this year.

Last year, Goff had the third-best season of his career from a yardage standpoint, throwing for 4,438 yards. His 29 touchdowns were the second-most of his career in a single season.

He’s now on pace for 4,584 yards and 31 touchdowns this year.

For the first time since 1954, the Lions have recorded 350-plus net yards and 20-plus points in each of the first six games of the season. They’ve won four straight games by 14 or more points this season for the first time since 1969. On Sunday, they extended their streak of producing 20 or more points in a game to 15, which is the best in the NFL currently and best in franchise history.

Detroit is on fire and Goff has everything to do with it offensively. 

On Wednesday, Goff was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 30 of his 44 passing attempts for 353 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions’ win over the feisty Tampa Bay Buccaneers on their Creamsicle-uniform unveiling day. It was good for a 107.5 QB rating, Goff’s third game this season with a rating of over 100.

Detroit was missing major pieces in their backfield, with both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs inactive. It meant the onus was on Goff to pass his way to a win. He did it. Even against a stifling Tampa Bay defensive front and blitz-happy coach in Todd Bowles.

Goff now ranks first in passes of 20-plus yards with 29 on the season. He’s third in quarterback rating, at 105.1. He’s third in yards per attempt with 7.97 and in first down percentage (37.9%). He’s fourth in touchdowns responsible for with 13 — seven of which have been on passes of 20 or more yards. He’s tied for fourth in completion rate at 69.5% and fifth in passing yards with 1,618. He’s tied for fifth in passing touchdowns with 11. If you’re counting that’s eight major passing categories Goff ranks in the top five. 

Do the Detroit Lions, Jared Goff DESERVE more RESPECT?

He’s also seventh in EPA (expected points added) and Pro Football Focus has him rated as their No. 1 overall quarterback.

“He’s not just participating in the success of the Lions, he is a key engine of what makes them go,” said FOX Sports analyst Greg Olsen, who will be calling the Ravens vs. Lions game this weekend. “I think there’s a conversation to be had that if you were to pick the top five MVPs — typically they’re all quarterbacks — I think it’d be hard to make the argument that he’s not in the top five or so guys in that picture. He’s playing for arguably one of the best teams in the conference.”

Goff is doing so well the Lions are now calling his side of the ball the “Goffense.”

So why is it that we aren’t routinely putting Goff in the top five when we talk about the best quarterbacks in the league? We conducted our FOX Sports quarterback rankings in the beginning of August and Goff tied for 10th. If we re-ranked right now, his star would undoubtedly rise. But how far?

“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,” said head coach Dan Campbell. “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. But I’ve said this before, he is an evolving quarterback. He’s developing, he’s been developing and he just keeps getting a little bit better, little bit better. And that’s a credit to him.”

Goff is being helped tremendously by his offensive line, which has the top pass-blocking grade in the league right now from PFF at 77.4. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has been playing out of his mind this season and now Jameson Williams is working his way back into the lineup ahead of schedule. 

Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is a master at his craft and setting his players up for success. But as Campbell pointed out, Goff is doing exactly what they need him to do, and that counts for something. He’s stringing together four good quarters of football week in and week out and has been the picture of consistency. Goff shouldn’t be penalized for the team general manager Brad Holmes put around him.

All you can ask for is that your quarterback is bought in and executes with the resources given to him. Goff threw just seven interceptions last season. He only has three this year. That’s good for just a 1.5% interception rate, which ranks sixth in the NFL so far. 

In the end, Goff is just one piece of a complete team, but he’s the most important piece. He’s a quarterback. And a damn good one at that.

Carmen Vitali covers the NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen had previous stops with The Draft Network and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She spent six seasons with the Bucs, including 2020, which added the title of Super Bowl Champion (and boat-parade participant) to her résumé. You can follow Carmen on Twitter at @CarmieV.

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