2. Generating pressure on Jared Goff
In 2021, Jared Goff on 364 dropbacks, where he was kept clean, had a 73% completion percentage, with a 2% turnover-worthy play percentage. On 177 dropbacks when he faced pressure, Goff’s completion percentage dropped to 51% and his turnover-worthy play percentage doubled to over 4%.
Against the Eagles, it was much of the same. His turnover-worthy play percentage when pressured was 8% on Sunday against the Eagles, which was over double from just over 3% when kept clean.
Put simply: Jared Goff’s more susceptible to make mistakes when he is under pressure. He is more prone to turnovers and his accuracy declines. For most quarterbacks this is normal, however, it is magnified with Goff.
With Goff’s general lack of elite physical tools, and average processor, it is paramount for the former number one overall pick to have good protection. He is at his best in clean pockets.
Therefore, the Commanders front of three first-round picks needs to mail in another dominant performance. While the Commanders only tallied two sacks on Sunday against the Jaguars, they were consistently in the backfield. They were second in the league last Sunday in pass-rush win rate.
The Commanders’ defensive blitz rate was also 46% in Week 1, good enough for fourth highest in the league. The Lions’ offensive line, despite it being immensely talented, had a rough time in Week 1 against the Eagles’ defensive front. The Eagles had 14 total pressures, on 39 passes from Jared Goff.
The Commanders will need to take advantage of this in Week 2, to force Jared Goff to make mistakes. For a defense that is struggling with down-to-down consistency, generating turnovers will be key.