Matthew Stafford led the Detroit Lions on another game-winning drive on Sunday night in Indianapolis. However, it wasn’t easy. Besides the fact that Stafford and the Lions offense had just 37 seconds to get the team in field goal position, he didn’t get much help from his teammates in terms of clock-management.
After a big 19-yard gain from Theo Riddick, Stafford connected with Eric Ebron for nine yards. Ebron was stopped inbounds, causing Detroit to use their second timeout. After the play, Stafford lit into Ebron for some reason:
The announcers immediately speculated that Stafford was #MAD because Ebron didn’t go down immediately. Instead, Ebron burned a few precious seconds battling for an extra yard or two. However, resident lip-reader Andrew Kato read the lips after that exchange with Stafford apparently saying to Ebron, “You’ve got to come back if he’s that close.” That suggests Ebron didn’t quite run his route correctly.
Stafford quickly got over it and composed himself for the next play, which was a huge 22-yard gain to Marvin Jones. However, Jones—who caught the pass right near the sideline—failed to get out of bounds, forcing Detroit to take their final timeout.
Matthew Stafford was #MAD:
Stafford has a case. The Lions had to use their final timeout, which severely limited their option on the next play. The Lions eventually ran a sideline play that didn’t work, so Stafford threw it away. The Lions ended up not needing any extra yards, as Matt Prater nailed the game-winning 43-yard field goal.
While some may be concerned with Stafford losing his cool at such an intense moment, that sort of leadership is absolutely essential in big moments like this. In the case of Ebron’s mistake, Stafford moved on and immediately drove the Lions into field position for the game-winning score. Angry or not, it worked, and the Lions are 1-0 because of it.