May 20, 2024

Jared Goff is a good quarterback.

It’s not hard to say.

No need to preface it with anything or add a “but.”

And there’s certainly no need to refer to the Detroit Lions quarterback as a “poor man’s” version of anyone else.

But that’s what retired NFL quarterback-turned-analyst Ryan Fitzpatrick did during Amazon Prime’s “Thursday Night Football” pregame show.

Goff ended up getting the last word — on and off the field.

“I didn’t know I was a poor man’s anything,” he told Fitzpatrick after leading the Lions to a 34-20 win Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

Following a pregame segment on Goff, Fitzpatrick told fellow analyst Tony Gonzalez that Goff “reminds me a lot of your former quarterback, the poor man’s Matt Ryan.”

When another co-host responded “Sheesh!” off-camera, Fitzpatrick said, “I mean, it’s not a slight on [Goff] though. Matt’s a great quarterback.”

Ryan played 15 seasons in the NFL, 14 for the Atlanta Falcons and one for the Indianapolis Colts. He was the league MVP in 2016, led the Falcons to the Super Bowl that season and finished his career (maybe) in the NFL’s all-time top 10 of numerous passing categories, including completions, yards and touchdowns.

Goff was selected by the Rams as the No. 1 overall pick in 2016 and led the team to the Super Bowl in his third season. But he fizzled out in L.A. soon afterward.

After being traded to the Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford before the 2021 season, Goff resurrected his career — earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2022 — and helped turn the perennial laughingstock Lions (3-1) into legitimate contenders.

Goff got off to a slow start Thursday, completing his first pass for a loss before throwing an interception on the following play, but righted himself quickly. For the game, he completed 19 of 28 passes for 210 yards with one touchdown and no more interceptions.

All of which led to this slightly uncomfortable, but mainly lighthearted, exchange with Fitzpatrick when Goff joined the on-air crew for a postgame interview.

Fitzpatrick: “I always hated starting the game with a pick and coming back, but really strong performance by you. That to me shows just your resilience from your whole career. Talk about that a little bit, talk about how you’re not phased by those moments anymore.”

Goff: “Yeah, bad play by me… . But yeah, you gotta bounce back. It’s early, man, you gotta bounce back. You have to find a way to and I thought I played better the rest of the game. Hope it’s up to your standards.”

Fitzpatrick: “You played very well.”

Goff: “OK. I didn’t know I was a poor man’s anything, but …”

Fitzpatrick: “Oh, you heard that?”

Goff (laughing): “I heard about it.”

Fitzpatrick: “Matt Ryan’s a pretty good player too.”

Goff: “Matt Ryan’s a hell of a player. I’m giving you a hard time. I appreciate it, man.”


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