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Brad Holmes Owes Jared Goff an Apology

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes' shortcomings offer Jared Goff no chance to be productive.
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Wash, rinse, repeat. 

Another week and another loss to start off the Dan Campbell era in Detroit that was littered with careless errors committed by Jared Goff and the Lions' offense. 

And after five weeks of it, enough is enough. The fans are fed up with the offense's lack of progression, and it's become painfully obvious: Detroit general manager Brad Holmes didn't do enough this offseason to supply Goff with sufficient receiving options. 

Sure, for the majority of the 2021 campaign, Goff has been careless with the football, which was on display once again Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. He committed multiple turnovers (a fumble and an interception), stalling two more potential scoring drives. The two turnovers gave him 45 total since the start of the 2019 season -- the most committed by any player in that time span. 

However, for as bad as Goff has been at holding on to the football through the first quarter of the season, it's also true that Holmes did the first-year Lions signal-caller no favors by failing to adequately upgrade the team's receivers room over the offseason. 

And, it's played a significant factor in the poor start to the Goff experiment in the Motor City. 

For starters, Holmes' two biggest free-agent acquisitions at the position over the offseason -- Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman -- have combined for a measly two receptions and 14 yards through the first five games of the 2021 campaign. And, all of those stats belong to Williams, as Perriman didn't even make Detroit's season-opening 53-man roster. 

Meanwhile, Williams hasn't played a single down since Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers. Williams exited the aforementioned contest prematurely, after taking an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit and suffering a concussion. 


Fast-forward to Week 5, and you'll find that Goff's only two reliable pass-catchers have been a running back and tight end -- second-year RB D'Andre Swift and third-year TE T.J. Hockenson. 

Swift leads all Detroit offensive performers with 29 catches, while Hockenson comes in at No. 2 on the Lions with 24 receptions. 

Quintez Cephus and Amon-Ra St. Brown have also put together some decent numbers in recent weeks, especially the USC product in St. Brown. 

St. Brown has caught 13 balls for 135 yards over the past two weeks, including a team-and-career-high seven receptions Sunday in Minnesota. 

Yet, fans have to temper their expectations with him a bit, because he is just a rookie. And, until proven otherwise, Cephus and St. Brown can't be expected to be anything more than quality No. 3-caliber receivers. 

So, they're not going to be the type of wideouts that allow Goff to play a higher-quality brand of football moving forward. 

The same can be said about the likes of KhaDarel Hodge, Kalif Raymond and Trinity Benson, all of whom were at one point undrafted free agents. 

It's a lackluster bunch of receivers that most NFL quarterbacks -- outside of a select few passers (i.e. Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes) -- would have a hard time establishing a solid connection with. 

Despite this being the case, Holmes told reporters in September that Goff's 2021 season would be evaluated based upon two factors: the quality of production and the level of chemistry he develops with his new group of receivers.

“I do think that you can fairly evaluate him, because he’s throwing to some guys that are getting open, that are creating separation, that have explosiveness and are making tough plays, tough catches and are being where they’re supposed to be," Holmes said. "Jared is a very accurate quarterback, and you have receivers that are getting open. And, at the end of the day, that’s what the receiver’s job is: to get open. I think it’s been easy to evaluate Jared so far."

Still, Goff needs all the help he can get to be a productive NFL signal-caller, and he simply doesn't have enough of it in Detroit. 

And, it serves as a referendum on the subpar job that Holmes did this past offseason in building up his team's depleted receivers group.

Brad, you owe Jared an apology for setting him up for failure. 

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes speaks with principal owner Sheila Hamp.