The Detroit Lions don’t deserve quarterback Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Given his comments, the Detroit Lions don’t deserve Matthew Stafford.

The Detroit Lions are finishing off another lost season in 2020. Leadership has decided there will be changes in 2021. The head coach and general manager have been relieved of their duties. The team is out of the playoff hunt for the third straight year. So why was an injured quarterback Matthew Stafford on the field versus the Tennessee Titans?

People and “fans” say he can’t win the important games. Well, he doesn’t play all of the positions on every play of a game. You win and lose as a team. People also say he just pads his stats and nothing more. They forget his 31 fourth-quarter comebacks and 38 game-winning drives. Since he’s come back to win that many times, it can’t just be about stats.

Could it be that Stafford actually cares about winning? Cares about his job as the Detroit Lions quarterback? Cares enough to never give up on a game and does whatever he can to pull his team back into it, no matter the odds? Possibly. What did he say when asked about playing versus the Titans?

Here’s what Stafford told the Detroit Free Press recently.

"“Because I’m the quarterback of the Detroit Lions. And it was Sunday and I got a bunch of teammates out there that worked their ass off and they fight to be available and fight to get out there and play and try and help us win, and if there’s any way I can play, I’m never going to not, you know? It’s just like I feel like I owe it to those guys. I owe it to the game. I owe it to this organization, everybody.”"

That sure doesn’t sound like a guy who’s only in it for his stats and nothing else. It sounds like a team captain that wants to go into battle with his teammates, no matter what’s at stake. There was a fraction of a chance at the playoffs, not even a realistic probability, yet Stafford fought his injuries to play last Sunday. He even risked further injury to play in a meaningless regular-season game.

Simply put, the Detroit Lions don’t deserve Stafford. He’s a baller that plays no matter what. He cares about the game and his teammates and this organization. He’s given it his all since he was drafted in 2009. And what has he received from some “fans” of the team? Disrespect.

Yes, every player should be this committed to a team and buying into the philosophy with the goal of winning football games. Stafford shows his commitment time and time again. Is he good enough for the job? The Lions could certainly do a lot worse.

No quarterback is perfect. Every one of them will throw an interception from time to time. You could argue Stafford could be more consistent or this or that. You can always argue if you want to. But he gives the Lions a chance to win games.

We saw what happened in 2019 when he was out and backup quarterbacks were in. It wasn’t nearly as possible the Lions could win on a week to week basis. Stafford’s the guy. He’s been the guy for a long time. Maybe he deserves a fresh start instead of helping this team rebuild. That’s the decision of the next general manager and head coach. But he’s certainly earned that chance if that’s what they decide.

Trending. Detroit Lions: 3 biggest disappointments of 2020. light

Until then, never question Stafford’s dedication to the Detroit Lions. He would be available and on the field whenever possible to try and help this team win games. Like he said, “If I’m good enough to play, healthy enough to play, my ass is going to be out there.” And for that, we should be thanking him, not criticizing him.