5 Keys to Success for Jared Goff in 2021

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Jared Goff is new to the Detroit Lions, but he is not new to playing the position of quarterback. 

While he is wearing a different helmet, fans can expect him to be pretty much the same as he always has been.

However, there are always things a quarterback can improve upon as his career progresses. 

The challenge is that the longer a quarterback has played, the more difficult it becomes to change. And sometimes, the biggest thing that causes a quarterback to improve is him going to another team and playing in a system that better fits him.

Veteran quarterbacks like Rich Gannon, Steve Young and Doug Williams immediately come to mind. All three started on other teams before landing with the organizations they won Super Bowls with.

Will this occur with Goff?

That all depends on the 26-year-old quarterback, position coach Mark Brunell, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and head coach Dan Campbell. It will all depend on the chemistry and the fit.

It helps that Brunell was an accomplished NFL quarterback. It will also help that Lynn has a strong history of being committed to the running game. A quarterback's best friend is the run, because the run traditionally sets up the pass.

When reviewing his past performances from last season, immediately some things jumped out. 

Here are five things Detroit's new signal-caller can do to ensure success in 2021. 

1.) Regain confidence

It all starts here. When reviewing Goff's career stats, some of the stats you do not want to go up have gone north, and some of the stats you do want to go up have gone south. 

The underlying reason for this is confidence.

They say 90 percent of the game is won or lost from the neck-up, and the strained relationship between Goff and his ex-head coach, Sean McVay, was very well documented. 

This played a huge role in things falling apart in Los Angeles. Goff looked more tentative down the stretch and he took 12 sacks late in the season. As a result, his confidence was visibly shaken. 

In my 40 years of watching the game, I have never seen a quarterback regain his confidence once it starts to go, but Detroit had better hope a change in venue will do the trick and rescue Goff from the icy hill and sled he is on. 

It is a heck of a blow to the ego of a young franchise quarterback to be traded.

2.) Cut down on the interceptions

Goff ranked tied for 31st in the NFL last season with 13 interceptions.

Since the time I was a kid, I have seen commentators throw the turnover plus-minus statistic up on the screen -- and historically, the teams that turn the ball over the least end up being victorious. 

While the Rams made the playoffs last season, they also had a stronger roster than Detroit. 

The Lions will not be able to pull that off if Goff continues to throw it to the other team at such a high rate. 

Over the past three seasons, Goff's interception number has been up  in the teens. That number must decrease.

3.) Improvement needed with the deep ball

Being neighbors with Dwayne Haskins, Mitch Trubisky and Andy Dalton is not the statistical neighborhood you want to find yourself living in. 

But, that is where Goff found himself last year when it came to success with the deep ball. 

Goff ended up 13-of-38 (30th in the league). To put that in perspective, Matthew Stafford ranked ninth. 

As a result, expect opponents to respect the deep ball less and clamp down harder on the run and underneath routes until Goff proves he can reverse this trend. 

Goff has got to find a way to get back his trademark long ball that was the thing of highlight reels earlier in his career.

4.) Get the ball into the end zone more

Not only must Goff get it to the end zone, but get it successfully into Lions' players hands for touchdowns. 

In 2017 and 2018, Goff was a Pez-dispenser when it came to throwing touchdowns (28 and 32, respectively). Those numbers dropped off in 2019 (22) and 2020 (20), though. 

This responsibility partially falls on Lynn's gameplan and play calling -- but when the end zone is dialed up, Goff needs to make it happen.

5.) The magical number is 22 percent of the time

Goff was undefeated when he was pressured less than 22 percent of the time (14-0). He was 16-18 when he was pressured more than that. 

Of course, this will depend on the offensive line play, but it will also depend on how decisive Goff is with the football. 

Goff's responsibility in this is to learn the playbook and terminology as quickly as possible, to build rapport in the locker room and to become as familiar as he can with Detroit's receivers.

The Rams traded away the farm to get the 33-year-old Stafford, while practically giving away the 26-year-old Goff in the process. 

Either the Rams know something the Lions do not know, or the Lions practically stole a franchise quarterback. 

Only time will tell if Goff can improve on these five things, or if Detroit made one of the biggest mistakes in recent franchise history.