I think Matthew Stafford is a keeper for the Detroit Lions, but he crossed me up on Thanksgiving. I went ahead and sat the Packers vs. Lions in favor of the Vikings vs. Bears which looks like a huge mistake seeing as how the Packers went for 22 points. The problem was I didn’t know how banged up Stafford and Calvin Johnson were.
Stafford was playable (but if I’m the Lions no way I play my franchise hurt here) but Calvin Johnson should have been out for sure, he could barely run (he really should have been on the sidelines). Unfortunately, I didn’t know these guys true conditions other than they gutted it out and were going to play. After watching what they did against the Browns – the team that held the Ravens offense touchdownless on Monday Night Football – and given that the Packers lost starters Aaron Kampman and Al Harris (and were already super shaky anyways), I decided to bench Green Bay.
At first, it looked like a really good decision. Jordy Nelson fumbled a kickoff and the Lions converted a CJ TD right away. However, Stafford turned on his interception machine and eventually through a dagger in me by getting picked off by Charles Woodson for a TD (8 points right here) with about 2 minutes to go.
Anyways, all this amounts to some hurt and a lot of hope that the Vikings save me against another INT hurler, Jay Cutler. But the question remains, what to make of Matthew Stafford? Stafford has talent but it’s obvious he needs off season practice and a lot of coaching. His success is on a sharp edge because he’s always on the verge of it turning into a major failure. Basically, he tries to fit the ball any type of window he sees – no matter how small. I love the fearlessness, but there needs to be some smarts behind the gun.
It’s probably no coincidence you could say the same about Jim Schwartz and his decision to play CJ and Stafford on Thanksgiving Day. It was much appreciated by the fans and network that he gave them the ol’ college try, but he really shouldn’t have. In the end, it was a horrible display on turkey day by two guys that should have been resting significant injuries. The Lions would have had a much better chance to win with C-Pep but I’m sure Stafford wanted to play and Calvin Johnson didn’t want to look like a non-gamer. Schwartz being the aloof person I’m sure he is showed none of the discipline you need from a head coach to know when to say no. End result, Stafford throws 4 picks and Calvin barely musters a hobbled effort to half time and the Lions lose in a route. They weren’t fun to watch either.
Going forward, Stafford can’t be a play because he makes too many mistakes. He needs to learn a lot this coming off season and then the next year. In two years, he may be a pretty good gunslinger if Detroit continues to improve the offense and he has a first class QB coach.Sports With Issa Asad