It doesn’t seem possible, but the Detroit Lions are well on their way to a third winless record in team history.
As of now, the only difference between the 2021 Lions and their 2008 and 1942 brethren is that Detroit has one tie.
That feat was accomplished in Week 10 against a Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers team.
Of course, it could be argued that the Lions had a chance even with Roethlisberger in the Pittsburgh lineup.
Before the 2021 season began, Detroit appeared to be on the right track for a playoff push.
Out went Matt Patricia and in came Dan Campbell, a former Lions player from 2006-2008.
Goff had played for the Rams in Super Bowl LIII and was a two-time Pro Bowler after the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Surely, the Lions would improve on their five wins from 2020 given the new talent.
Not so much.
In the midst of their disappointing season, Goff has not been the much-needed savior of the Lions offense.
#Lions QB Jared Goff has thrown for 0 touchdowns in 3 of his past 4 games.
Jared Goff is making $25.6 million this season.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 14, 2021
He’ has completed 66 percent of his passes for a little over 2,100 yards, eight touchdowns, and six picks.
Goff has also been sacked 26 times.
Another telling stat is his 27.3 quarterback rating, which is good for 33rd in the NFL.
Basically, a little over halfway into Campbell’s first season as head coach, the writing is on the wall.
Detroit has to improve dramatically in 2022 in order for Campbell to keep his job.
Drastic changes must be made to see the Lions win at least a couple of games next year.
The following are the top three positions of need for the Lions in 2022.
We’ll start here even though Detroit (through nine games) has the 29th ranked offense and the 30th ranked defense in the NFL and could use help almost everywhere.
The secondary was addressed through free agency this past offseason but not through the draft.
Detroit added five defensive backs in the spring and none of them are exactly household names.
Corner Bobby Price, who was a safety until this season, has been one of the lowest ranked corners by Pro Football Focus.
— Amani Oruwariye (@AmaniO) November 17, 2021
Even with Goff’s struggles, the Lions should keep this group as a top priority in the 2022 draft.
Looking through the 2021 roster of Lions receivers doesn’t exactly make opponents shudder in fear.
Detroit selected former USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth round last year.
Quintez Cephus has two scores and 15 receptions.
The rest of the roster is devoid of any notable names.
Perhaps this is a reason why Goff has looked like a rookie?
If he had someone, or two someone’s, reliable enough to throw to, he may yet live up to his contract.
This isn’t surprising, although drafting a QB is not necessarily a sure thing in 2022.
Goff’s contract is structured so that the team would take a massive loss if they released him too early.
— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) February 11, 2021
As of now, he carries a $31.15 million cap hit for 2022.
If he was cut before June 1, the team would eat over $30 million.
Cutting him after June 1 is a $20 million loss.
Instead, Detroit might have to suck it up and wait until 2023 when the loss in releasing Goff before June 1 falls to $10 million.
That dead money is reduced further to $5 million after June 1, 2023.
The Lions could find his replacement during Day 2 of the 2022 draft and use him as direct competition against Goff during the season.
Although, the team may be so desperate by the end of this season that management uses their second first-round pick of the 2022 draft on a QB.
Stranger things have happened.