As Matthew Stafford and the Rams have made a run to the NFC championship, does that make the Detroit Lions losers as their extra first-round pick tumbles?
The Detroit Lions were eliminated from playoff contention this year as soon as it became mathematically possible. But their long-time former quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams not only qualified for the postseason, they’ve made the most of it.
During 12 seasons in Detroit, Stafford and the Lions made it to the playoffs just three times. All three of those trips ended without Detroit finding a way to win a postseason game.
Stafford of course carried that 0-3 playoff record into his first postseason with the Rams. But he is now 2-0 this postseason, doing so efficiently in both games and in the Divisional Round win over Tampa Bay coming through in the clutch like he so often did as the Lions’ quarterback.
This has sparked plenty of national narratives. Most very negative on the Lions. The verdict is now Stafford was failed by the team that drafted him No. 1 in the 2009 draft.
The truth, in short, is that the Lions’ franchise has not done right by many of their best players. Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson are the prime examples. The difference with Stafford is he was allowed him to go to a better team, and rewrite the narrative of his Lions’ career.
No one can ever say that Stafford ever gave anything but his best and he was as tough as they come to take the beatings he did behind the Lions’ porous line, but he also wasn’t perfect. While he has played well this postseason and deserves the praise he has gotten, the better talent around him on both sides of the ball helps.
As Matthew Stafford keeps winning, to the Lions lose in parallel?
The more the Rams win, the farther the Lions’ second first-round in April falls. It will be no better than No. 29 overall now, and if the Rams win Sunday it will be No. 31 or No. 32 depending on the Super Bowl result.
How much will this pick tumbling hurt the Lions’ rebuilding efforts? In theory, the sooner the Lions can get on the clock again the better.
That’s where belief in general manager Brad Holmes enters the equation. Good teams find talent no matter where they are selecting in the draft. If Holmes is who we think or want to think he is, then it doesn’t matter where the Lions end up with the Rams pick. So Lions’ fans can root for Stafford to keep winning, if they choose to, and not feel bad about possibly having that second first-round pick come in at No. 32.