Tracking the Detroit Lions’ franchise quarterback throw-for-throw in Week One vs Chicago, Stafford’s first game back from injury.
For the third year in a row, the Detroit Lions come out of the gates facing a storm of anger and criticism from long suffering fans, as well as a heavy dose of media and social media mockery from casual observers. The 27-23 loss to Chicago might as well have been a shot-for-shot remake of last year’s stunning endgame collapse at Arizona.
The (not so) surprise ending of this sequel, of course, is that the Lions couldn’t even scrape a tie out of this year’s blown 17 point fourth quarter lead. There’s a reason that Michael Kirkland calls his posts ‘Kick in the Crotch Weekly’ on here, after all.
That particular periodical has plenty of fresh material following this one, with Jamie Collins’s headbutt, Justin Collins’s dropped interception, Matt Prater’s right upright, and D’Andre Swift’s butterfingers all landing good solid knockouts to the crotch of our optimism for the new season.
Among the bright spots were Adrian Peterson’s impressive and inspiring kickstart to the run game in his debut, T.J Hockenson’s progress, and of course, Matthew Stafford’s return to Ford Field. With all of the other road blocks, variables, and unknowns about the 2020 season, any hope for the Lions still starts and ends with the health and performance of our captain.
For that reason, I tracked every pass that Stafford threw in Week One, with some commentary and a little analysis of some select plays that turned out to be critical.
How did Matthew Stafford play in his first game back?
Other than a hot streak of nine straight completions in the middle portion of the game, Stafford wasn’t exactly sharp in his first game action since last year’s season ending back injury.
Stafford certainly did enough to put the Lions in position to win (i.e. the final drive and that dime to D’Andre Swift), but also missed a few opportunities to blow the game open early on and made a poor decision leading to the fourth quarter interception that set up the Bears’ winning drive.
Final Stats: 24-42, 297 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Leading Receiver: Danny Amendola, 81 yards on 5 catches
Favorite Target: Quintez Cephus, 10 pass attempts (34 yards on 3 catches)
Bottom Line: All in all, it was great to see #9 back in action. The Lions are already infuriating beyond belief in the infancy of the 2020 season, but as long as Stafford is on the field, they’re at least going to have a puncher’s chance in almost every game.
Full Game Highlights: Watch here