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Stafford struggles in Lions loss

By Imperical Evidence

Yep , the Lions lost their 19th regular season game in a row today. A large part of that loss has to be placed on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford , who looked uncomfortable in the second half once again. His totals over two games as the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions are just plain bad , no other way too look at it.

1 touchdown pass , 5 interceptions , 357 total passing yards , and a quarterback rating of 40.5. His average yards per pass actually went down from week 1 , to 5.1 yards per completion. With Calvin Johnson as the main target , I find this stat very disturbing. Jerome Felton even caught a nice 10 yard pass , then ran for at least 11 more yards after the catch. Here is another disturbing stat:

First downs rushing - 13
First downs passing - 14
First downs by penalty - 4

Ok , so why is that bad?

Opponents first downs rushing - 14
Opponents first downs passing - 29
Opponents first downs by penalty - 3

The passing offense that is only good for a little over 5 yards a reception can't move the chains on 3rd down. Seems like Brandon Pettigrew would be a huge help here , with slants and crossing routes. The defense gets burned by the pass on 3rd down , thats not a good thing.
2 of the first down by penalties for the Lions lead them to Staffords first passing touchdown today , they happened on back to back plays in the second quarter. There were no sustained drives , no flow to the offense.

Kevin Smith ran better , but once again Dominic Raiola couldn't open any running room up the middle. He also disappeared in the opponents red zone.

Maurice Morris had 2 carries today. At least he played , something is going on here Lions fans.

Brandon Pettigrew had 4 catches , 3 in the 4th quarter.

Jeff Backus , the Lions left tackle , left Jared Allen unblocked for a Matthew Stafford sack , and fumble. He also stood over the loose ball. I wonder if the Vikings give him a paycheck this week , he earned it.

Larry Foote once again lead the defense for the Lions , not just in tackles , but in attitude. The defense looked better against the run , but Brett Favre had a great day. He went 23 for 27 , threw 2 touchdowns , and had a completion percentage of 85.2%. He only threw for 155 yards , good thing the Vikings didn't let him loose in the passing game.

I guess what disappointed me was that this game lacked the special teams excitement , and the defensive score. Stafford struggled , story at 11:00.
Julian Peterson played a little better , Ernie Sims still whiffed on a few tackles. Kevin Smith ran ok , but just that. He had no explosiveness , watch Adrian Peterson to see what I mean.

Backus was bad , Raiola got no push in the middle again , and the run up the middle was 2 or 3 yards at a time.

Hunter had a better pass rush than Avril has shown this year.

The offense accounted for 13 points. They were way too conservative , every once in a while take a shot down the field. Stafford waited until 3:00 left in the 4th quarter to do that , and overthrew Bryant Johnson badly.

Ok , Mr. Schwartz , the quarterback you picked as a starter for the Lions has thrown 5 INTs and 1 TD.

Daunte Culpepper threw 6 INTs and 4 TDs in 5 games last year as the starting quarterback , at 292 pounds and not knowing the offense.

What would hurt Stafford the most at this point , there are several different things that can happen.

1.) Stafford continues to start , bad team means long and slow learning curve.

2.) Stafford starts , plays badly , then gets pulled from a game and replaced.

3.) Schwartz tells Stafford that Culpepper will start , and Stafford will get time as a backup in every game to build his confidence. Schwartz also tells Stafford that he will be the starting QB again , but he made a mistake in starting Stafford too soon.

Those are the main possibilities I see , but injury could also happen. I expect Stafford to start against the Redskins next week , also a home game. The bottom line is that this is only the second game of Matthew Staffords' career , and its way too early to call him a bust.

Its not too early to say he played badly , and there will come a time this season when the Lions need a win. Thats when 1 , 2 , and 3 come into play.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. LionsFan414

    Don't know what you said , TopOfStep must have removed it.
    Please feel free to comment again.

    Imperical Evidence

  3. Nope not me, must have been a good comment. Fans please leave even a short comment after every article to get the discussion really going. It is difficult to get people to start leaving comments but once it gets going it becomes a great forum to talk about the team. Note no site registration is needed to comment.