Even though he has only started in five games, the Detroit Lions may have found their long-term backup quarterback in David Blough.
The Detroit Lions lost to the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 in the exact same fashion as they did in Week 5. Even though they were able to hop out to an early lead in both games, they still collapsed in the fourth quarter and fell due to a winning field goal by kicker Mason Crosby as the clock struck zero.
The Lions offense looked as alive as it has all season on Sunday, as running backs Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough were able to total 118 yards thanks to offensive line that was opening up large holes.
That balanced running attack helped open things up in the passing game, as even though starting quarterback David Blough only completed 12 of his 29 passes for 142 yards, he still got into a passing rhythm late in that first half and made some key third down throws and was able to lead the Lions to what seemed like a hefty 17-3 halftime lead. Blough may or may not have been inspired by the Saints fans who offered to buy him a truck if the Lions won, which they almost did.
The Blough family should make sure that they have this game saved on their DVR, because Blough scored the first touchdown of the contest via a catch from a throw by wide receiver Danny Amendola, as the former Purdue Boilermaker caught the ball cleanly and could have crawled into the end zone.
Despite his passing statistics not being great, games like this should make Lions fans wonder if Blough is the long term solution for the Lions as the second string quarterback in the team’s future.
While Blough and fellow reserve quarterback Jeff Driskel have almost identical contracts, Blough proved through his five games at the helm that he can throw a better deep ball than Driskel while quickly forming chemistry with Lions pass catchers like Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola.
Sunday’s loss was Blough’s best game since Thanksgiving, when he surprised Turkey Day viewers by throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
Given the circumstances of Blough only getting opportunities with an injury-riddled Lions team who was out of playoff contention almost his entire time under center, he played pretty well and proved that he could at the very least be a high-end practice squad quarterback or even a serviceable backup quarterback.
At the very least, Blough played well enough for the Lions to make it a tough decision on whether to go with him, Driskel, or a more established veteran passer as their second string quarterback.
With head coach Matt Patricia and general manager being in win-now mode in order to keep their jobs in 2020, it’s unlikely that Blough will be picked over a more established veteran QB. But the Lions would be wise to at least stash away Blough as a third-stringer or as a practice squad passer who can keep the Lions afloat in emergency situations.