Detroit Lions: The big Matthew Stafford conundrum
By Robert Jones
Now the one legitimate concern is the continuity of the offense. Stafford is a smart veteran, but even with good reps in practice, there is still the concern of getting the entire offense on the same page. The season will be unforgiving to the Lions if they can’t run this offense in an efficient manner.
The reports out of camp that Stafford has looked inconsistent doesn’t bother me. Why? Because this is a new offense that has to have everyone on the same page to work. When the media whines every time Matthew has thrown an interception, I don’t know as an outsider, and this goes for the media as well, if those interceptions happened because Stafford and his receiver weren’t on the same page or he made a legitimate mistake.
Only Matt Patricia, Darrell Bevell and the rest of the Lions coaching staff knows for sure. Plus it should be pointed out that if the defense is ready to make a big step forward like we believe it will, then they will make plays even in practice against Stafford.
So if Stafford doesn’t play tomorrow against the Bills, then the only real concern I have will be about whether the offense, including Matthew and everyone else on that side of the ball, is on the same page.
If Matthew sits, then the Lions offense puts together an awful debut against the Arizona Cardinals like they did last year against the Jets, then the outcry will have merit. If they play well, then no one will remember or care about all the hullabaloo that’s being drummed up now.
But once the season is here, performance will be at a premium. Stafford will have to understand the offense and be able to command it in game situations. He will have to run it crisply and efficiently. Because in the NFL, there’s no such thing as an offense that can just get by being slipshod.
I understand that keeping Stafford healthy is extremely important, but getting some reps with this offense in a game situation wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. One way or another, these Lions have to be ready to play well against the Cardinals and moving forward in the regular season.
The Matthew Stafford conundrum isn’t so much about him, but about an entire offense that has had limited time together both in practice and on the field so far. Matt Patricia can do whatever he thinks will be in the best interest of the Detroit Lions, but it better translate into victories during the regular season.