Sun, 02 Oct 2022

NOTEBOOK: Goff taking command of Lions' offense

Detroit Lions
22 Sep 2022, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

Through the first two weeks of the season, the Detroit Lions' offense has scored the most points in the NFL and ranks fourth in total yards, averaging 405.5 yards per game.

There's a lot of credit to give out for Detroit's success on that side of the ball through their 1-1 start to the season, and quarterback Jared Goff deserves his fair share. Goff passed for 256 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions for a 121.7 rating in last week's 36-27 win over Washington.

Through the first two weeks of the season there are just seven quarterbacks in the NFL with a passer rating of at least 100.0. Goff is on that list with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Justin Herbert. Goff has thrown six touchdowns and one interception for a 100.1 rating through two games.

Goff has made some big-time throws, but his efficiency also stands out to head coach Dan Campbell.

In his Wednesday media session, Campbell raved about Goff's efficiency through the first two weeks, and his ability to run the offense and get into good plays.

"I thought he's been efficient," Campbell said. "He's gotten us in the right play. I think he's been pretty steady. I think when things haven't gone perfect, he's always snapped back and finished the game strong.

"Listen, there's a number of things we've been doing we're asking him to get us into the right play in the pass game and he's doing that. He's getting us into the right look, right play call and then he's finding these receivers."

That's one of the things Goff says he likes the most about coordinator Ben Johnson and this offense. Just the freedom he has within it to make adjustments.

"It's fun for me," Goff said Wednesday. "I feel like I'm at the point in my career where I've kind of earned that and they can trust me with that. Ben trusts me. I trust him. It's been good."

It's been really good.

The offense has been one of the best in the NFL through two weeks and most of the players on that side of the ball, including Goff, feel like they've left a lot of meat on the bone. Goff will try and keep things rolling this week as the Lions hit the road for the first time this season and play in a hostile and noisy environment Sunday in Minnesota.

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ANOTHER AWARD FOR ST. BROWN

Lions second-year wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to rack up awards.

He was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after registering nine receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns while adding two rushing attempts for 68 yards in the Lions' Week 2 win over Washington.

St. Brown's 184 scrimmage yards led all NFC players in Week 2 as he became the first player in NFL history to record at least eight receptions and a touchdown in six consecutive games.

MISSING COMINSKY

One of the unsung performers for Detroit's defense the first two weeks has been defensive lineman John Cominsky. He leads the team with eight quarterback pressures. He has registered a sack and set up a couple sacks for others, including Aidan Hutchinson's second last week.

Unfortunately, the Lions will be without Cominsky for a little bit, per Campbell, after Cominsky had surgery on his thumb this week. As of Wednesday, Campbell said the team didn't plan to put Cominsky on injured reserve, which is good news.

His absence will certainly be felt along Detroit's defensive front.

"A lot of people don't realize what he's done for us, especially with our pass-rush group and our third down," Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash said Wednesday. "He's definitely going to be missed. He's a tough SOB, so I know he's going to be back a hell of a lot sooner than we think."

SLOWING DOWN COOK

Expect Vikings running back Dalvin Cook to be extra motivated for a big showing Sunday against the Lions after he was given just six carries totaling 17 yards and four passes caught for 19 yards in Minnesota's 24-7 loss to Philadelphia Week 2.

Ten touches is too few for one of the best dual-threat running backs in the NFL.

The last time the Lions faced Cook on the road at US Bank Stadium in 2020 - Cook was inactive due to injury in last year's game in Minnesota - he had a career-best 252 scrimmage yards (206 rush, 46 rec.) and two rushing touchdowns. Cook is looking to score a rushing touchdown in his fourth straight game played against the Lions. Wash said job No. 1 Sunday is containing Cook and the Vikings run game.

GAME BALLS

Speaking of slowing down Cook, that's a job for all 11 players on defense, but especially for interior defensive linemen Alim McNeill and Isaiah Buggs, who are coming off good performances last week helping to limit Washington to just 88 rushing yards.

McNeill and Buggs were given game balls for their efforts in the middle vs. the Commanders.

"How they are playing this week is going to be key once again for us," Wash said. "We had a real heart to heart about it, how they have to play well this week for us to win."

EXTRA POINT

Center Frank Ragnow and cornerback Amani Oruwariye returned to practice Wednesday after missing last week's game due to injury. It's a good sign that both are trending in the right direction.

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