Jared Goff is better than Matthew Stafford. Here's why.
Updated: Feb 3, 2021
I’m not going to go on a huge rant here, but Terry Bradshaw is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in NFL history. This is NOT a hot take. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at his regular season numbers on Pro-Football-Reference.com. He was excellent in the playoffs, sure, but you can easily make the argument that Troy Aikman was a more consistent QB than Bradshaw.
I really don’t understand why Bradshaw is still on FOX Sports. He seems so out of it most of the time, and he even forgets what teams are playing from the highlights that he’s calling. On a side note, he even has his own family TV show for E! Online. That TV program looks awful, especially since Terry is the supposed star on the screen.
I bring up Bradshaw because he once again said one of the dumbest things ever stated on sports talk television. Here’s the clip from Sunday’s FOX pregame show:
Now, Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd have done their fair shares of hot takes during their morning and afternoon programs. Keep in mind that sometimes these sports talk show hosts don’t always believe in what they’re saying. However, hot takes can sometimes drive the Nielsen ratings because they’re so controversial but yet also intriguing to potential viewers and listeners. Ratings are of course how these on-air personalities get paid. With all of that being said, however, I truly think that Bradshaw wants the Rams to trade for Matthew Stafford.
This would be a terrible decision on so many levels, but I’ll name the easiest ones that come to mind:
First of all, Jared Goff is a lot younger than Stafford. Why would Rams general manager Les Snead want to invest in a much older QB with no previous playoff success?
The second point goes hand-in-hand with the first point. I just don’t see why Snead would anger some of his players who like and believe in Goff by trading for Stafford. Jared Goff has already played in a Super Bowl while still in the prime of his career. Matthew Stafford has never even played during the Divisional Round and is now on the twilight of his career. You can hate on Kirk Cousins all you want, but at least Kirk has one playoff win on his resume.
Thirdly, passing numbers can definitely be inflated. Yes, I understand that Goff put up great passing yard numbers last season with his Rams team ultimately missing the postseason, but then again, Stafford ALWAYS puts up gaudy passing numbers. At the end of the day, you have to wonder if Stafford has to continue to throw for a lot of yards at the end of the game because he’s not getting it done during the first half. I don’t think that’s exactly the case, but I also think it’s mind-boggling that the Lions never won a playoff game with Stafford, Megatron, Ndamukong Suh, and Ziggy Ansah all in the primes of their careers. Stafford had some weapons on offense throughout the years, and it’s not as though his defensive teammates have always stunk.
I actually like the current Detroit Lions quarterback, but zero playoff wins is still very eye-opening for me. The only statistic that Stafford consistently has over Goff is protecting the football. Since entering the league in 2016, Goff is notorious for fumbling the pigskin. The Rams starting QB has fumbled the ball at least 7 times since his sophomore season, and he’s on pace to once again cough the ball up 7 times in 2020.
As for Stafford, he usually only fumbles 3-4 times per season. So that’s of course good.
But other than that, I just don’t understand Bradshaw’s fascination with Stafford. The former 2009 first-round pick has been a turnover machine during his small sample size of playoff games: He’s committed 4 total turnovers during his postseason career, which includes 3 alone during a Wild Card defeat to the Dallas Cowboys. The no-call of defensive pass interference against Brandon Pettigrew was terrible, but still...Stafford should get a lot of the blame for not getting it done that day.
Not only that, but Stafford isn’t exactly Captain Clutch. Remember the 2016 season? The Lions were actually 9-4, but a three-game losing streak down the stretch, including an embarrassing 42-21 loss to the Cowboys, cost the Lions a chance at winning the NFC North. The Lions then had to go on the road to Seattle on Wildcard Weekend and got trounced by the Legion of Boom.
It’s one thing if a team is close to being a postseason contender and needs a quarterback (the San Francisco 49ers come to mind if they want to move on from Jimmy Garappolo), but it’s a complete other thing to want to bring in Stafford when the Rams have consistently won with Goff under center.
Honestly, it’s not a huge deal that the Rams missed the playoffs last season. It sucks, yeah, but Goff wasn’t as bad as fans remember. In 2019, Goff showed that he has the ability to compete against the monstrous 49ers defensive line. With the Rams desperately needing a win in Week 16, the former No. 1 overall draft pick simply did his job well enough to keep his team in the game: 323 passing yards on 46 attempts, 2 touchdown passes, and a pick. Remember, this was the same 49ers defense who made Patrick Mahomes look like a non-MVP quarterback during Super Bowl 54 and the same D who ate Aaron Rodgers alive in the NFC Championship Game.
I think people are too caught up with bringing up Goff’s struggles against the 49ers. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter as long as the Rams get back to the Super Bowl? Players can sometimes struggle in key moments or against certain teams. For the longest time, legendary signal-caller Peyton Manning could never quite figure out the blitz packages that Bill Belichick sent his way. Remember when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used to always lose when the temperature was under 35 degrees? Stuff happens even to the best of great athletes.
Do I think that Goff is an exceptional athlete? No, I don’t. But he is more athletic than Stafford. He’s younger, and before you bring up Goff’s ridiculous contract, it’s not as if Stafford has been a bargain gridiron player in Detroit. I’m sorry, but when you’re paid all that money and the Lions have STILL not won a playoff game since Erik Kramer was the starting QB, that’s just plain awful. Hashtag Sorry Not Sorry.
I guess my points are this. 1) Terry Bradshaw didn’t really think things through when he called out Goff and 2) Goff deserves more respect. Not a lot, but some. I bet if you asked 10 Chicago Bears fans if they’d rather have Jared Goff’s or Khalil Mack’s contract, at least 6 of them would take Goff’s. If you have a quarterback who has a track record of winning big games, you have a chance. Even when you have a lethal pass rusher in Mack, if you don’t have the QB in the 2020s decade, you’re done. Finished. No chance at the playoffs.
Let’s take a moment to look at some next-level Matthew Stafford versus Jared Goff numbers. One of the reasons the Lions are 5-7 this season and need a lot of help to get into the playoffs is because Stafford’s receivers...well...aren’t very good. On December 1st, the Lions had 25 dropped passes according to Pro Football Focus.
But at the same time, Stafford’s numbers are declining according to PFF. His overall grade has been under 80 every season except for 2019, and he’s on pace for another season of 77-78.
As for Goff, he’s criticized for being Sean McVay’s puppet signal-caller who can’t read defenses well and needs play-action to be effective. And while the Rams are shattering the record books these past 4 seasons with how many PA play calls that they utilize during the games, I just don’t see why Goff needs to be blamed for this. Great head coaches put their quarterbacks in positions to win. Football is the ultimate team game where talent doesn’t trump all. It’s all about rhythm and having confidence on each drive.
Look, if McVay can run it down your throat and then immediately go to play-action to air it out and run you out of the building, then so be it. Some quarterbacks like to run the team. Manning was basically an offensive coordinator during his career in Indianapolis and Denver. Other quarterbacks, like Goff for example, fully trust in their head coach and offensive coordinator. Goff doesn’t need to audible at the line of scrimmage to be successful because the Rams offense has mostly been successful as is, regardless of who the starting running back is for the team.
Furthermore, it’s not as though Drew Brees never needed Sean Payton. Brees was a decent QB in San Diego, but once Payton was hired by the New Orleans Saints as the new head coach, Brees became an all-time great. That end result of football greatness is definitely not a coincidence, so I don’t know why Goff needs to be immensely criticized for having McVay as his head coach.
I guess what’s kind of scary is Goff’s deep ball has declined in terms of touch and accuracy. His intended air yards have taken a notable dive since 2018, and he hasn’t even completed a pass over 19 yards his last three starts.
But still, you have to be thankful for what you have. For every Sean McVay-Jared Goff relationship, you have a severely broken Mitch Trubisky-Matt Nagy debacle. Be thankful for what you have Rams fans. And Terry Bradshaw, just stop with your hot takes!
What do you think? Will Stafford end up having a better career than Goff? Make sure to comment below with your honest thoughts!