The Detroit Lions hot start has come into question after getting whipped by the Carolina Panthers. They need stop the bleeding this Sunday.
I was listening to the local sports talk radio show the other day, and one of the jack-wagons on there suggested that the Detroit Lions sit Matthew Stafford against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in order to give him an extra week’s rest heading into the bye.
This is stupidity at its best.
Only two weeks ago, the Lions were the talk of the NFL, “inches from undefeated,” and riding high at 3-1. After a drubbing by the Carolina Panthers—at home, no less—the Lions are in desperate need of a win in order to keep pace in the NFC North behind the Green Bay Packers.
Yes, clearly Stafford’s health is important, and, frankly, if they were facing another great defense like Carolina’s (or Atlanta’s, or in theory, the Giants), I’d maybe consider letting rest up. Let’s face it—he took a beating against the Panthers. He took a beating the week before against the Vikings, too. He’s getting roughed up, and if he does go down for any length of time, the season is all but over.
The Saints, though, do not have a ferocious defense. I’d even venture a guess that the Lions offensive line—which has been downright offensive—will have a bit of a “get well” game against the Saints, and do a better job of keeping the Franchise off his back.
However, if the Lions lose Sunday, their season might just be sunk as well. Going back to that hot start, some fans (*raises hand meekly) stopped thinking about the possibility of a wildcard berth, and shifted gears. Yes, I admit it—I started thinking about finally beating the big bully from Wisconsin and taking the NFC North crown for the first time in Lions history.
At 3-3, that becomes a tall task, as that bully—Aaron Rodgers and his Packers—keep dropping wins on the rest of the league. You know Rodgers isn’t going to flop, and even injuries to his offensive line and receiving corps hasn’t slowed him down yet.
That means the Lions need a win. They need their leader, their best player—Matthew Stafford—to play through the pain. To go 3-3 into the bye week would be a pretty good-sized letdown after starting 3-1. If the mediocrity is to ever end, then the Lions need to win on Sunday.
So, while I hope he’s healthy, Stafford needs to get his team a win.
Detroit Lions 24, New Orleans Saints 21.