Detroit Lions: Is this player the key to the 2021 season?

Detroit Lions (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions are in rebuild mode. Yet even with very few expectations for 2021, what player will be the key to maximizing the Honolulu Blue and Silvers upcoming season?

Even though it won’t be official until the league new year begins on March 17th, we all know that after 12 seasons of giving the Lions everything he had, Matthew Stafford will be the Los Angeles Rams quarterback.

For the last dozen seasons, Stafford has easily been the Detroit Lions key player. His importance to this franchise was spelled out just two seasons ago when he was knocked out for the second half of 2019 with a back injury and the team finished 0-8 without him in the lineup.

Matthew Stafford has been the Lions’ rock and his fortunes have translated to whether these Motor City cats have been competitive or flatlined. However, he will no longer be Detroit’s lifeline. Matthew will now be a crucial piece of the Rams’ attempt to win a title.

This means that as new general manager Brad Holmes and new head coach Dan Campbell begin their Motor City reclamation project, the one player this franchise has counted on for so long to make them competitive is now gone.

In many ways, it is less of an issue since these Lions are rebuilding. The defense is a major reconstruction project on its own, but on offense, there are questions regarding who will be lined up at receiver, and who is going to be Detroit’s next franchise quarterback?

There are far too many issues to be solved in one offseason. So while both Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell have given lip service to the idea of being as competitive as possible this fall, this is a process that will take at least two to three years of rebuilding before they have a chance to be legitimately competitive.

Yet every season for every team, whether it ends in playoff glory or just leads up to getting the first pick in the draft has some player that was the key element. So even though we may not expect much in 2021 from the Detroit Lions, who will be their key player?