National Football League
Lions' Jared Goff: NFC title game loss to 49ers 'gave us a ton of fire'
National Football League

Lions' Jared Goff: NFC title game loss to 49ers 'gave us a ton of fire'

Updated Apr. 17, 2024 1:57 p.m. ET

Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions emerged as an NFC contender in 2023, going 12-5, winning the NFC North for the first time in franchise history and reaching the NFC Championship Game.

The road ended for the Lions in a heartbreaking 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game, which saw them blow a 17-point halftime lead. Goff finished the game with 273 passing yards, one passing touchdown and an 88.8 passer rating, while completing 61% of his passes.

In an interview published Tuesday in the Detroit Free Press, Goff discussed how the loss has become a rallying cry for the Lions.

"It seems a lot of things just kind of didn't go our way, and I hate for that to sound like an excuse because we felt like we should have won that game anyways. But the second half, they played well, and we didn't and that's kind of the bottom line," Goff said. "I wish I could go back and pinpoint some plays for you, but there was a lot of them. There wasn't just one. There wasn't just one thing that went wrong. There was a handful of them, and, yeah, it's the way the ball bounced that day, but gave us a ton of fire. It really did. 


"And I know Dan's [Campbell] talked about it, gave us a ton of fire and gives us something to look at and to draw on for next year."

Of note, the Lions chose to go for it on fourth down twice in the second half rather than attempting field goals and failed to move the chains either time. They also fumbled, with the 49ers falling on the loose ball and scoring a touchdown four plays later. San Francisco went on to lose a grueling overtime game to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. 

Goff, a three-time Pro Bowler, finished the regular season with 4,575 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 97.9 passer rating, while completing 67.3% of his passes. All in all, the Lions boasted one of the best offenses in the NFL, as they averaged 258.9 passing yards (second in the NFL), 135.9 rushing yards (fifth), 394.8 total yards (third) and 27.1 points (fifth) per game.

In Detroit's three playoff games, Goff totaled 837 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 103.3 passer rating, while completing 69.4% of his passes.

Aidan Hutchinson on Detroit's chances to make it back to NFC title game

The Lions have been highly active this offseason. In the wake of losing guard Jonah Jackson and defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Detroit re-signed center Graham Glasgow, matched a three-year contract offer for tight end Brock Wright, acquired cornerback Carlton Davis and signed defensive tackle D.J. Reader, defensive end Marcus Davenport and guard Kevin Zeitler, among other moves.

Goff and Campbell are each entering their fourth seasons with the Lions.

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