It’s no surprise that Matthew Stafford has seen a pretty significant uptick in criticism over the Detroit Lions’ current three-game losing streak. The Lions have only scored a total of two touchdowns in the first halves of those games combined, and Stafford’s play has looked downright ugly at times. Over that three game stretch, he’s completed just 65.3 percent of his passes for 6.6 yards per attempt, four touchdowns and three interceptions. That’s a passer rating of just 84.8 (26th) and a PFF grade of 52.5 (28th).
But head coach Matt Patricia’s support for his quarterback is unwavering. Patricia says he doesn’t hear the outside criticism from fans and media, and he has the utmost confidence in his quarterback.
“We’re blessed to have him as our quarterback. We’re lucky to have him as our quarterback,” Patricia said. “This is a guy that’s extremely tough, he’s extremely competitive, a guy that works harder than anyone in the building every single day to get better.”
Patricia admits that he’s identified some issues in Stafford’s game over the Lions’ past few weeks, but credits a string of tough defenses and other surrounding factors as the bigger part of the problem.
“It’s not really just one thing, it’s been a multitude of different things through the course of the past couple games that have been an issue,” Patricia said, adding that he wasn’t going to get into details. “I’m not going to give you specific details, because there are other people that listen to this stuff. They’re watching the tape, let them figure it out for themselves.”
Obviously, there are surrounding issues that have affected Stafford’s play. He’s incurred 16 sacks in the past two games, and his receivers are struggling to find separation.
Unfortunately for Detroit and Stafford, the road doesn’t get much easier ahead. Their next three opponents—the Panthers, Bears and Rams—all have some extremely talented defensive players that have given the Lions’ fits in the past.
Still, Patricia is confident in a future with Matthew Stafford.
“He’s a great quarterback, he works extremely hard. He’s our leader on offense, and we’re going to keep pushing and he’s going to keep leading, which is great for us.”