The Detroit Lions have put all their eggs in the Matthew Stafford basket, but is he good enough to lead this franchise to the promised land?
This has been a difficult week for the Detroit Lions. They are sitting on a two game losing streak and neither one was as close as the scores indicated. The Lions have had their play, heart, head coach and quarterback all questioned. And the answers just haven’t been there.
Here we sit almost halfway through the season and the Lions have been about as inconsistent as possible. As a matter of fact, the only thing the Lions have done consistently has been to play inconsistently.
After all the hope that surrounded this franchise heading into the season, the disappointment of another mid-season autopsy has left everyone scratching their heads and trying to pinpoint just exactly where everything went wrong.
But while more was expected from these Lions, it wasn’t like the warning signs weren’t there. They sputtered on offense and were abysmal on defense in the exhibition season. Normally you can throw out the preseason stats, but the very fact that they didn’t improve at all over the course of exhibition play was disturbing.
Then when they fell flat on their face in the opener against the New York Jets, reality set in.
The expectation of better defense has turned into disappointment. After all, Matt Patricia was a defensive guru that had coached championship defenses in New England. The idea that he would turn around the Lions defense was considered a given.
But the biggest disappointment is probably that the offense has not progressed as expected. Especially after retaining offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for the sake of continuity and adding pieces to improve the ground game.
The offensive line has flashed some glimpses of being good, but were pretty much whipped by the Minnesota Vikings front four last Sunday. Kerryon Johnson is very good, but even the best running back still needs some help from his offensive line. Toss in the fact that Jim Bob Cooter has had a shaky season as well and it doesn’t add up to consistent success.
Then there is Matthew Stafford. Last week he was outright buried on many occasions by a ferocious Vikings pass-rush which didn’t give him many chances to make plays. But if we look closely, there were a few opportunities that he just couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger and instead collapsed under the wave of Vikings swarming in on him.
Yet despite all the issues this team is working through, Stafford took the most abuse from the media and fans this week. Which leads us to this very simple question; is Stafford good enough to make the Lions contenders?