I knew the clock started ticking after Matthew Stafford’s fourth interception on the opening night of 2018. It was not a pretty game, nor a pretty start for the Matt Patricia era. I gave Stafford and the team the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the Jets were just that good?
I chuckle when I think back to how naieve I was; the Jets actually having a good team? Please…
I do get that players have bad games, it happens. But how do you explain your star player coming out of the gates to such a lousy performance?
Things didn’t get much better when Stafford was benched during a 27-9 beating by the Minnesota Vikings. To add insult to injury, the Detroit crowd cheered as Stafford was taken out of the game.
Lions’ Fans Aren’t Unreasonable In Their Expectations
I’ve heard this argument from a lot of outsiders whenever Lions fans criticize Stafford. The thing is, we’re not being unreasonable here. Stafford has had some great years. Let’s think back to his stellar 2011 season where he amassed 5,000+ yards and 40+ touchdowns, or all those unlikely victories he’s helped the Lions
Stafford’s going into his 11th year and he just turned 31 a couple of months ago. He’s reaching the ending of the average quaterback’s NFL career. Best case scenario is that Stafford keeps his athletic level at the same tier for the last remaining years of his playing days. But when we think about his current playing level, we need to admit it hasn’t been stellar. Last year Stafford proved he was capable of making immature mistakes. Over the last couple of years, he’s showed he’s unable to perform at a high level when he doesn’t have a hall-of-fame receiver in his backfield.
The Lions Need to Start Thinking About Plan B
The recent moves the Lions have made in their management has shown they are more willing to prepare for the future than to try to win now. Because of this, it makes sense that they are evaulating all positions.
In the case of Matthew Stafford, if he’s unable to perform at a high level this season, what else is there left for him? Sure Detroit has him under contract until 2023, but when they think of it on a practical level, they need to start to consider that maybe the Stafford era is coming to an end.
Sure, as a franchise like Detroit, it’s going to be hard to make a move away from the only above-average QB the team has had in a long time. But if we think of it from a practical perspective, with the team’s future in mind, it only makes sense to begin the transition sooner rather than later.