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Stafford named starting QB for the Lions

Matthew Stafford in college , a look at pressure:

He struggled in his first year, completing 126 of 235 passes (53.6%) for 1,620 yards.

2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl, where Stafford and the Bulldogs made a 18-point comeback, the largest for Georgia under coach Mark Richt up to that point. He finished the game 9/21 passing,129 yards, 1 TD and 1 Int.

Stafford was named the Offensive MVP of the above bowl game.

Stafford registered 175 yards passing and a TD pass to Sean Bailey during Georgia 41–10 rout of No. 10 Hawaii Warriors in the 2008 Sugar Bowl.

Stafford went 20-for-31 for 250 yards passing , 3 TDs and 1 INT in the 2009 Capitol One Bowl.

NFL pre season starts:
The Browns game:5 for 13 , 34 yards , no TDs , 1 INT and a completion percentage of 38.5%

The Bills game:5 for 9 , 81 yards , 1 INT and 1 Fumble , recovered ny the Bills.

Brian VanOchten of the Grand Rapids Press dosen't think the INT and Fumble are Staffords fault at all , here is his evaluation:

Final line on Stafford: 5-for-9 passing for 81 yards, two dropped passes, two turnovers that weren't his fault, one touchdown-saving tackle.

One simple step:
The fumble by Stafford was caused when left tackle Jeff Backus got beat by a rookie DE on a speed rush , running the arc. Aaron Maybin then reached out and swatted at Staffords arm and the ball came out. The reason Maybin was playing for the Bills at defensive end is because they didn't play any starters on defense in this game.

If Matthew Stafford takes one simple step up into the pocket before attempting that pass , Maybin goes behind him , out of reach , and Backus does his job.
That one simple step requires that Stafford have pocket presence and awareness , and those are qualities that take time to develop.

Colbert falls down:
The interception occured when Stafford threw a pass to Colbert on a comeback route , and he fell coming back to the ball. That can't be Staffords fault , right?
In the first preseason game , Daunte Culpepper attempted a pass to Derrick Williams in the end zone. Williams fell on that play , but there was no way the defender could have picked that pass.

Matthew Stafford will tell you that he threw to the outside shoulder , and the defender made a great play when Keary Colbert fell. If Colbert hadn't fallen , thats not an INT.
What Stafford will not admit is that Colbert was covered like a blanket on that errant throw , and fell adjusting to the pass. Daunte Culpepper wouldn't have thrown that interception.

Coming out of high school , Matthew Stafford was the most sought after recruit by college teams. Georgia got him. As a freshman starter , Stafford completed 126 of 235 passes (53.6%) for 1,620 yards. His interception total doubled his touchdown total , 6 TDs and 12 INTs.
The big games?
Look at the numbers , only the Capitol One Bowl is decent , and Stafford played very badly in the first half of that game.

As a draft choice , many draft gurus had Stafford going as the #1 pick overall in the draft. The Lions made that happen , drafting him #1 overall. Now Matthew Stafford will be the starter for the Detroit Lions at QB for the regular season.

What I expect:
Lots of rookie mistakes , forced throws , too much on the ball on short passes , and lots of interceptions.
Simply , I think Schwartz either made the wrong choice , or Martin Mayhew told him to start Stafford.

Do I dislike Stafford? Nope , this is and will continue to be an objective blog , based on what I saw. So I need to look at this further.

Stafford as the #2 QB in pre season:
In the first pre season game against the Atlanta Falcons , Stafford did throw one INT that was all his fault , no question. When the Lions got the ball back , Stafford marched down the field and threw a touchdown.
Stafford against the Falcons:"Matthew Stafford seemed to want to air the ball out , and did so. Keary Colbert dropped too many passes , but caught a nice one before the CB and Safety converged on him. Stafford had a small window , but nailed it. He was on target for the most part , but suffered from the o-line play and the lack of decent receivers. For those that don't know , Calvin Johnson was inactive with an injury for this game , as was Northcutt , Bryant Johnson , and Standeford."

Stafford finished 7-of-14 passing for 114 yards , 1 TD and 1 INT.Colbert dropped 3 passes that hit him right on the hands.

Stafford against the Colts:
13-of-19 , 68.4 completion percentage , 160 total passing yards , 0 TDs , 1 INT

Stafford was better as a backup coming into the game , no question.

My take on what should have happened , and why I think Culpepper should be the starter for the regular season:

I guess that I had it set in my mind , a day dream in which Culpepper had played ok , but the Lions were down by 14 at the half. Stafford is brought in as a spark plug , and throws 3 TDs.
The Lions win , Stafford is a hero , gets gametime and learns(Starting isn't the only way he can learn) , and his confidence soars.
Everyone wants him to start , but Schwartz sticks with Culpepper , seeing the offensive line hasen't gelled yet.
Stafford does the above 1 or 2 more times.
Hand him the keys then.
I don't think anyone would argue with how well he played coming in as a backup in the pre season.I was impressed.

Well , do I love Daunte Culpepper?

I think he should take the beating behind this bad offensive line.

They aren't bad you say?

Lets ask Schwartz.
Coach , what do you think about the offensive line?
Jim Schwartz:
"We've got to do a better job of supporting our quarterback,'' Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "We had a touchdown pass turned over with a holding penalty, and we didn't protect him very well and we fell down on the one interception."
"He did some good things, but we have to do a better job of supporting him. The bottom line is that we didn't get the ball in the end zone."

Here is that link to the above quote.

I also think Stafford might be a great QB one day , if the offensive line dosen't get him killed first. A bad offensive line will make Stafford look bad , slow his development , and possibly get him injured.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully, with the addition of LG Rob Sims, WR2 Nate Burleson, and RB Jahvid Best, Stafford will find a way to increase his accuracy and find receivers who have made their way into the open.

    Rock on, bro!