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Lions CB Jerry Jacobs ranks Jared Goff in 'top five' among NFC QBs: 'Everybody sleeps on my dog'

The Lions transformed from a 1-6 team halfway through the 2022 season to a plucky 9-8 underdog that narrowly missed the playoffs.

The surprise turnaround generated high enough expectations entering 2023 that Detroit has been scheduled to face Kansas City in the NFL Kickoff Game, a contest where cornerback Jerry Jacobs believes the Lions can deliver more shock and awe.

"It's time to show what Detroit is made of," Jacobs said on Sirius XM's NFL Rewind, per "When we knew we were playing them in the season opener, Dan Campbell came in and said, 'They want us to lose, so what are we going to do?' ... We almost went to the playoffs and they just won the Super Bowl, so they're trying to see if we're really like that. We're ready, I know we're ready. Every time I hear we're playing the season opener against the Super Bowl team, we're ready to go out there and play ball and shock the world."

Pitting the Lions against the Chiefs was an under-the-radar pick to begin Week 1 of the new season, but it could serve as an announcement of Detroit's arrival to contention if Jacobs' words come to fruition.

Jacobs and the rest of the defense will have a tall task toppling last year's highest-scoring offense. The Lions defense ranked 28th in scoring and 32nd in yards allowed, although the unit did finish strong, allowing 20.2 points per game in its final 10 contests versus 31.1 over its first seven.

If they can carry that trend over the summer and into Week 1, it would provide quarterback Jared Goff with an opportunity to outduel the reigning Most Valuable Player, Patrick Mahomes.

Much like his unwavering confidence in his team, Jacobs possesses the utmost faith in his QB.

"Jared Goff is the best quarterback, he's really top five in the NFC if you want to be honest if you pull the stat stuff and all that," Jacobs said. "I'm gonna be honest, I've played against a lot of quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers would be in my top five, but Jared Goff's up there. Everybody sleeps on my dog and I love how he take it in, like he don't be cocky or nothing like that. He just soak it in and play ball to this game, that type of reaction. He's a great quarterback and I can't wait for him to you know, go out and prove everybody wrong."

Goff played a major role in Detroit's surprisingly high-octane offense last year, and he did so while placing fourth among NFC signal-callers in passer rating (99.3) and third in both yards (4,438) and touchdowns (29). He also took care of the ball -- his seven interceptions were fewer than Tom Brady or the aforementioned Rodgers.

Still, Goff has rarely seemed like more than a stop gap even as he's outplayed the label. Many surmised the Lions might lay the foundation for a replacement plan with a Day 1 pick at quarterback in April's draft.

Instead, the Lions waited until the third round to select backup Hendon Hooker, and Goff enters Year 3 in Detroit playing his best football since his early seasons under Sean McVay in Los Angeles.

If Goff kicks off September with a surprise victory over the defending Super Bowl Champs, others could soon flock to Jacobs' way of thinking.

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