I’m sorry. Christmas is over. Our nationwide distraction has dissipated. It’s the Tuesday after a national holiday and the mess we were putting off cleaning up stands before us. The Detroit Lions lost a game they absolutely shouldn’t have lost and because of it, we’re left with a week of “meaningless” football.
I put meaningless in quotes because for many of the people involved, the game is far from meaningless. Players are playing for futures. Coaches are using the final week to build their resumes. And, of course, there will be thousands of people we normally take for granted working during that game, including the broadcast crew, stadium services and so much more.
But one of the people who won’t be playing for much, if anything, is Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He just signed a brand new contract, he’ll be Detroit’s quarterback for 2018 and aside from an impressive starting streak, there’s really nothing to be gained from playing in the season finale against the Packers.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Should the Detroit Lions start Matthew Stafford in the season finale against the Green Bay Packers?
My answer: Yes, but with a big asterisk.
First, here’s my ideal scenario. Matthew Stafford starts. The Lions win the toss and take the ball. Detroit, like they struggled to do all year, takes the ball down the field on the opening possession and scores on a touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay. Stafford does a curtain call to a rowdy Ford Field that gives the man the standing ovation he has earned for all he has endured not only this season but his entire career thus far. I don’t care how much money he’s made, he’s had to endure an immense amount of pain, physically and emotionally. We can give him 15 seconds to show us our appreciation of that.
But that will never happen. This fanbase is just too mad right now, and an opening touchdown drive will be just met with cynicism and a frustrated swarm of “WHERE WAS THAT ALL YEAR?” tweets.
So instead, I’d like to see Stafford’s starting streak continue, as a testament to how tough he is. Give him a half to play, then throw Jake Rudock to the wolves behind that broken offensive line. I’m not going to pretend like there’s even a chance Rudock blows up the scoresheet, giving Detroit an opportunity to cash in on a potential trade. That’s not going to happen. Even if Rudock plays well, no one is going to buy it against a bad, beaten up Packers defense.
So, short answer: Sure, give him a half.
Should the Lions start Matthew Stafford in Week 17 vs. Packers?
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