Worst Case Scenarios
Would you rather… lose Matthew Stafford for the season in Week 3 (derailing an empty season), or in Week 15 (derailing a push towards the playoffs)?
If Stafford gets knocked out for the season and it’s still September, I have a strong suspicion that it would mean both the end of his career and the number one overall pick in next year’s draft. With Stafford healthy, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the offense could be really strong and perhaps carry the team somewhere in the neighborhood of a winning record (*side note: they most likely finish 8-7-1 if Stafford stayed in last year) or better.
The argument for the first option is that at least the Lions could get a top pick out of the ordeal if it happens early enough. For all the hype over Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence at Clemson might be the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, and he will most likely enter the draft next year.
If the Lions are right at eight or nine wins late in the year, maybe one away from a playoff or division clincher, just maybe they could ride the emotion to one last win and a meaningful accomplishment for the season to hang their helmets on. With the current backup QB situation, the Lions aren’t going far without Stafford, but maybe they could go that final few steps to the finish line before collapsing.
My Answer: Week 15, and this is a pretty easy one for me. I’m not a supporter of tanking, doubt I’ll change my mind on that philosophy.
The final six weeks last year were absolutely miserable from a fan’s perspective (Jeff Driskel was kind of fun for his first few games). The same story repeated itself over and over: Lions get a lead, the fourth quarter comes around, and either a big play from the QB or a big stop from the defense will be enough. They ended up with neither, every single time.
Driskel had an absolute stinker of a fourth quarter against Washington, and David Blough threw a fourth quarter interception in four of his five starts. If it’s either a few weeks of that again or nearly a full season, I’m taking the few weeks. Even if that means an arrow to the heart of a promising season.