Matthew Stafford must play better to turn the Lions season around

The Detroit Lions enter a well-needed bye week this weekend. This is a chance for the team to learn what they need to fix going forward.

No, this is not an article bashing Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford. I just wanted to get that out of the way before people think I’m putting all the Lions woes this season on him. However, this doesn’t mean that he’s been as good as he could be this season.

Detroit currently sits at 1-3, tied for 3rd place with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. It’s safe to say that it’s been a rough season. The defense obviously being a huge part of why the Lions have struggled so much.

The offense has been a different story. It’s been better than the defense don’t get me wrong, but it’s still not where it needs to be. Free agency running back pickup, Adrian Peterson, has been a big help to the rushing game. The passing game hasn’t been bad, but once again, improvements are needed if the Detroit Lions want to compete.

The passing game stems from the QB, that being Stafford. In four games this season, the gunslinger has thrown for 1,017 yards with eight touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 60.6 completion percentage.

A fan that reads the stat line without watching any of the games may think Stafford isn’t part of the problem at all. But if you’ve watched the games, you know that No. 9 just hasn’t been himself this season.

Whether it be arid throws or head-scratching decision making, Stafford has just been off. There’s really been no direct cause of it either. As far as we know, he’s not suffering from an injury or anything like that. My guess is that he feels like he has to do more, which in turn causes him to do too much and hurt the team more than help them.

If the Detroit Lions want to be competitive this season, the guy at the helm needs to be better. Once again, I’m not saying it’s all on Stafford. If it weren’t for him, the Lions probably wouldn’t even have a win right now.

But any coherent fan who has watched the games knows that Stafford hasn’t been as good as we know he can be. He’s proven before that he can carry the team on his back. As goofy as it sounds, he can carry the team by not playing “hero ball.”

Matthew Stafford doesn’t need to force passes into double or triple coverage, nor does he have to try and scramble around like Johnny Manziel. He just needs to be himself.