The Stafford-Goff trade adds plenty of intrigue to the 2021 season

NFL: DEC 02 Rams at Lions
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It’s not Ken Stabler for Dan Pastorini. Still, the trade that, if consummated, will send Matthew Stafford to the Rams and Jared Goff to the Lions will add plenty of intrigue to the coming football season.

Let’s start with Stafford. Through 12 seasons in Detroit, he’s made it to the playoffs three times, and he’s never won a playoff game. Is it him, it is the players around him, is it the coaching?

Stafford had Calvin Johnson, one of the best receivers of the generation. Stafford had four seasons with Jim Caldwell, who made it to a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning.

Was it Stafford, was it the players around him, was it the coaching?

Stafford has seemed at times to be unable or unwilling to embrace the leadership realities of the job. Is it him? Could he have done something differently? And if he was so bothered by the inability of the team to put a winner around him, why did he stay for so long?

Part of the answer will come as Stafford steps onto a roster where he will be embraced as an upgrade over Goff. If the Rams continue to compete for playoff berths and to win playoff games (Goff won three in the last three seasons, to go with Stafford’s goose egg in a dozen), it will be fair to conclude that Stafford was trapped in a spot where the mess around him kept him from thriving.

The other part of the answer will come from Goff. How will he do with the Lions? From Goff’s perspective, per a source with knowledge of the situation, he’s “ecstatic” to get a fresh start and to escape an environment that had become “toxic” in L.A. It’s believed by many that the league has adjusted to the Sean McVay offense, and that McVay needed to blame that development on someone other than himself. If that sounds familiar, it should; many believe that McVay’s mentor, Raiders coach Jon Gruden, has behaved the same way for years with his quarterbacks.

And so the performances of the two quarterbacks and their teams, taken together, will shed plenty of light on whether the decline in L.A. resulted from McVay or from Goff — and whether the dysfunction in Detroit lands on the shoulders of Stafford or those around him.

Meanwhile, the Rams and the Lions will play in 2021. Both quarterbacks will have ample motivation in that game to prove that it wasn’t him, but them.

21 responses to “The Stafford-Goff trade adds plenty of intrigue to the 2021 season

  1. The biggest weakness of the Lions over the last few decades has clearly been at the GM position. The second biggest weakness has been at he HC position, and the 3rd and 4th biggest weakness was a tie between the OC/DC positions. But that all ties back into the top at the GM role. We need a culture change and a new football philosophy. Then the winning shall commence.

  2. 12 years is a long time to establish a body of work…and Stafford is high if he thinks NE and BB had any interest. I think Detroit wins this trade if they leverage these picks into the future.

  3. Players win games folks.

    Not GM’s or coaches.

    Stafford and Goff have both had the weapons over the years and no SB wins.

  4. The answer for the Rams is Les Snead. Once thought a young wunderkind GM when the Rams were still in St. Louis, he’s totally fudged the Rams roster ever-since. He’s blown 4 first-round picks and I believe 2 second-rounders on the round trip on Goff, not to mention the bloated contract he negotiated. Then there’s the Cooks and Peters deals – both fiascos – and Gurley too, although I blame him less for that as it was injury-related. The Rams have little to show for their drafts the past several years, and are in bad shape to improve their roster this year, given their salary cap and poor draft capital.

    Bob Quinn was a disaster for Detroit, overpaying ex-Patriot free agents in the hope of somehow re-creating Belichick’s winning culture in Motown. Things look bleak for the Lions the next couple years with Goff at QB and nobody to throw to. The Lions offensive line isn’t fabulous either, which will make life difficult for Goff too.

  5. bb5cs54u2h says:
    January 31, 2021 at 8:12 pm
    The best part about all of this is that Kenny Golladay will sign with Buffalo.

    they will franchise tag him

  6. Looking at Stafford, I believe a QB’s best friend, is a good defense. It’s not a RB or WR. Stafford will have an outstanding defense in LA. It’s so hard to play QB when you fall behind early, and face pressure all day. You get out of your gameplay early, and things like play action fakes just don’t fool anyone. That’s even more true if you’re not a real mobile QB, like Stafford. You end up forcing things because you’re a competitor. I have seen QB’s stop competing because they’re more concerned with their stat line, but Stafford competes until the final whistle, so interceptions don’t bother me as much as a guy who quits on his team, like Derek Carr. He should enjoy much more success than he ever has. I like Goff, too. His biggest problem has always been his delivery. It takes him an extra half second to get rid of the ball, and that costs him dearly. Other than that I think he’s fine. You can do a whole lot worse than Goff. And saying this trade will add plenty of intrigue to 2021 is quite the understatement. I can’t wait for next year to begin. This is as big as Stabler for Pastorini, if you ask me.

  7. “they will franchise tag”

    Yes they will and then they will trade him as well. Already known that the Giants have a good amount of interest in Golladay, probably won’t get much but id rather take a 3rd this year then worry about the comp system.

  8. I am honestly happy this went down. It takes a couple of the guys off the list I definitely didn’t want the Colts to get. Statford is the best description I’ve ever seen for him. Thx for that chuckle.

  9. Was it Stafford, the Lions or the coaches? In 2015 it was the referees, committing the faceguarding error, and ending the best chance a team stocked with Stafford Megatron and Suh in their prime had. The work of a generation of Lions football ended with that call.

  10. Lions fan here. My prediction is that in 10-15 years when he is HOF eligible everyone will point at Stafford as the QB with the most (yards, passing TD’s) who isn’t in the HOF. He will become the litmus test for meaningless stats in the era of offensive explosion. Stafford isn’t a bad guy, but he never elevated those around him to win the meaningful games. He has been quite durable, but never exuded a killer instinct or driven need to win. Early in his career when Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were organizing off season workouts with their receivers it was Calvin Johnson doing that in Detroit. We got pictures of Stafford in a bathing suit without a shirt on and a blonde in a bikini on his arm. I wish him well, but I think he’s an example of someone good at football who just does it as a job.

  11. A defense is helpful to the QB but you have to run the ball, use some time moving the chains and keep them fresh. Stafford threw too much and the defense never developed like they should despite talent.

  12. Will a team like NE or Indy try to trade for Minshew with Lawrence about to get drafted ? Will a team take a chance on Matt Ryan, who like Stafford, needs a fresh start ?

  13. Now, there’s the real question, nflhistorybuff68. Minshew actually looked competent on a very bad team, and yet his asking price cannot be too high. Will the Jaguars be stupid enough to part with a capable quarterback on a rookie contract for a pittance, just because they now have ‘their guy?’ Bad football teams do dumb things, but the new staff that they brought in has a winning pedigree. A bad decision by the Jaguars could be New England’s or Indianapolis’ gain.

  14. Goff had a good defense, online, and weapons to pad his stats.
    Let’s see how he does with a weaker team and less help.

  15. Both divisions are very tough. I see both teams struggling, with the Rams getting the Wild Card. I see the Lions as 8-8 at best.

  16. donterrelli says:
    January 31, 2021 at 10:17 pm
    Why wouldn’t NE swing a trade for Matt Ryan

    NE has to restock other parts of the team or it really doesn’t matter who is at QB.

  17. Stafford is a good QB and is at about the middle of the league at his position. His major weakness is in leadership. He’s not a guy who by force of will can carry a team or elevate those around him. He can make all the throws and can on occasion play at an elite level. His supporting cast in Detroit has rarely been good, but the few times it was Stafford couldn’t make the big step necessary.

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