Lions backup quarterback: What does the depth chart behind Jared Goff look like?

With turnover issues mounting, Jared Goff's job security is fully in-view with the Detroit Lions right now.

Nov 23, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) fumbles the ball
Nov 23, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) fumbles the ball / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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At 8-3 and clearly, the best team in the NFC North, the last few years of building have paid off for the Detroit Lions, who have gone from a bit of a laughingstock to a competitive team top to bottom.

That does not mean the Lions are without their struggles, though. They've pressed through adversity to achieve that 8-3 record, it has been far from entirely smooth sailing. Look no further than 25-7 loss to the Jaguars that head coach Dan Campbell thought would be a test of mental resolve for his team.

Test passed.

The Lions followed that game up with a 10-2 run that featured convincing wins. They've beaten the Chiefs and Chargers in that stretch and won four games by two touchdowns or more.

On the topic of adversity, in-view for the Lions most recently is Jared Goff's struggle with turnovers. Goff has coughed the ball up six times total (three interceptions, three turnovers) over the last two games. In the nine games before those two stinkers this year, he totaled just seven turnovers (five interceptions, two fumbles).

Goff's EPA per play the last two weeks is 0.035, in the weeks prior it had been .126, a massive decline from where he had been at. By far, though, the number that sticks out most is the six turnovers.

With a Week 13 matchup drawing the Saints, who have forced the fourth-most takeaways in the NFL, it's possible those struggles may not slow for at least another week.

Benching Goff would be a drastic change at this point in the year. Seeing your starter through his struggles may be worth it even if you have to work through some turnover woes, just for the sake of cohesion.

But if this continues and the Lions have to make a big move under center, who do they have to turn to?

Lions backup quarterback: Who is behind Jared Goff?

Here is the Lions depth chart:

  1. Jared Goff
  2. Teddy Bridgewater
  3. Hendon Hooker (Out in Week 13)
  4. Nate Sudfeld (IR)

For Week 13, at least, the Lions can turn to one man and one man only if they opt to yank Goff: Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater's NFL career featured an injury scare that threatened amputation, a resilient comeback, a parlay to becoming a reliable journeyman backup QB. Bridgewater is lauded as a high football IQ player and responsible veteran, largely what you want from a backup QB.

That said, there's a reason he's not starting. In two starts last year, he threw four interceptions on four touchdowns. In 2021 he had a better year, throwing 18 touchdowns on seven interceptions across 14 starts, but only achieved a 7-7 record.

Put simply, the gamble that an off-bench Bridgewater is better than a struggling Goff feels like a toss-up. Expressing confidence in your starter as the NFL season goes into its final stretch is probably worthwhile at this point.

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