Now that the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions have pulled off the first blockbuster NFL deal of this offseason, what can we expect from the former No. 1 overall draft picks who are trading places?
Since Jared Goff entered the league in 2016, both he and Matthew Stafford have had their fair share of ups and downs. Goff lost the first seven starts of his career but led the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance. Stafford has played at an elite level but has zero playoff wins to show for it (0-3). Based on what both players have shown throughout their careers, here is what to expect from each of them with their new teams.
With Stafford in the lineup, we might see the Rams throw more deep passes. Since 2016, on throws that are 20 yards or more beyond the line of scrimmage, Stafford has completed 40.5% of passes with 31 TDs and 11 INTs. Goff, meanwhile, has only completed 35.4% of such passes with just 14 TDs and 9 INTs.
Stafford has also played better inside the pocket — 104 TDs/41 INTs with a 66.6% completion rate. Goff has thrown 90 TDs/50 INTs and a 64.8% completion rate inside the pocket.
Goff has had a little more success outside the pocket, especially when throwing on the move to the left. Goff has completed 58.8% of his passes with 5 TDs/0 INTs in those situations. Stafford, under the same circumstances, has completed 49.2% of passes with 5 TDs/3 INTs.
Both QBs have played well on throws in which they have less than 2 seconds from snap to pass. Both have completed over 78% of their passes; Goff has thrown 28 TDs/8 INTs, while Stafford has 21 TDs/8 INTs on these plays.
What do these stats mean for the Rams and Lions moving forward?
Goff and the Lions
Former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn takes over as offensive coordinator. Since 2017, Lynn’s offense with the Chargers has attempted 2,319 passes with only 77 of them being designed rollouts. This will be a huge change for Goff, who has attempted over 230 rollout passes in that time with the Rams. Another change in offense style for Goff will be passes attempted under center vs. in the shotgun. Over the past three seasons, Lynn’s offense has only called 423 passes under center compared to the 815 Goff attempted while playing for L.A. Lastly, don’t expect to see much up-tempo offense in Detroit moving forward. Lynn has only run 241 plays from a no-huddle look (173 being passes), while Goff and the Rams had 538 snaps of no-huddle offense (422 being passes) in just three seasons.
Stafford and the Rams
Sean McVay’s offense is based on a zone run game and the utilization of play-action off of these run schemes. A huge part of what the Rams like to do is get the QB on the move. This is evident based on their 235 designed rollouts since 2017. Stafford has shown an ability to throw on the move but was not asked to do it much, only attempting 102 called movement passes. Stafford did most of his work from the shotgun and has attempted less than 400 passes from under center in the past three seasons. That will be a big change next year. Stafford has also been very comfortable working in the no-huddle, attempting 327 passes, so this style of play should continue in L.A.
The Rams have made it clear to the entire league that they are putting together a Super Bowl-or-bust team, while Detroit may be a couple years away from that goal. However, both teams have great offensive minds leading their systems. It wouldn’t be surprising to see both offenses take what they have done in the past and tweak it a little to the style of QB they have under center.