Detroit Lions: 10 Observations from Sunday’s loss to Titans

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Matthew Stafford toughed it out and played well, but it wasn’t nearly enough for the Detroit Lions at Tennessee

The Detroit Lions had so much stacked against them leading into Sunday’s game that it’s hard to be too disappointed in the end result. An injured quarterback, an interim coach, an injured and interim defense, and the NFL’s best running back on the opposite side–if there’s a tried and true formula for a 46-25 loss, it has to be that.

Matthew Stafford ended up playing very well considering the circumstances, and the offense moved the ball for most of the day, but with two killer red zone turnovers from their young stars (D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson). Led by Henry and a near-perfect game from Ryan Tannehill, the Titans picked up their tenth win. Meanwhile, the Lions gave up 40+ points for the fourth time this season.

Here are my ten observations from Sunday …

1. Matthew Stafford has earned the right to leave (or stay) on his own terms

Stafford is a warrior. Fighting through a rib injury that I’m pretty sure sidelines 99.9% of players in this league for at least two games, Stafford not only played, but he played well. After the game, he had this to say on why he chose to take the field, which was posted on the team’s official Twitter page …

The Lions absolutely need to start thinking about the future and draft Stafford’s future replacement in the first or second round this year. With that said, Stafford can play quarterback on my team for as long as he wants.

As for fans who criticized his decision to play injured in a supposedly ‘meaningless’ game–I’ll let the guys who put their bodies on the line week after week for our entertainment decide which games have meaning to them. In a city like Detroit that prides itself on toughness, what a shame that some people want to criticize true grit because of this misguided notion that losing even more will somehow help things.