Detroit Lions Stock Report: Week 7

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Stock Down: Matthew Stafford

Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Matthew Stafford had a terrible game as a passer.  I’m also not going to tell you that he’s a wuss, as his toughness really showed through during the whooping he was getting from the Minnesota linebackers free rushes.  No one was even slowed down, meaning that not only did Stafford take some shots, but he took some big damn shots from those rushers.

He ended the day with a high passer rating, 2 touchdowns, and no turnovers.  He also ended the day with no injuries, which is a miracle in my book. What puts him in this category is the line calls.  I’ve done a lot of soul searching on this one, trying to assess blame for all the ridiculous unblocked pressure we saw in the game.  The first and clearest to blame is Joe Lombardi, but he isn’t alone and that’s why we’re looking at Stafford.

You see, once you get past an OC that can’t call protections, you have a quarterback that’s actually on the field calling them.  Not all of the 7 unblocked sacks were on Stafford, but he isn’t blameless for any of them.  By the time he was sacked the last time, he had completely given up.  The protection scheme was broken, the offense was a disaster, all he could do was take the sack and keep the ball in his possession.  That was smart, in that instance, but the few times he had time to call protections for his line, he guessed wrong.  Lombardi is gone, so one problem is at least rectified, but Stafford needs to get rid of a lot of bad habits he’s taken on.

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