The Detroit Lions’ problems on Monday night were vast. Just browse our Week 1 stock report or our Lions vs. Jets report card. There wasn’t a single unit absolved from blame in Week 1. The quarterback made bad decisions, tight ends, running backs and receivers all dropped the ball (literally), the offensive line couldn’t run block—and that’s just the offense.
What’s tough to parse through, though, is which of these poor performances were aberrations and which were representative of what we should expect for the rest of 2018.
Either way, things need to change and need to change quick. So today’s Question of the Day is simple:
Where do the Detroit Lions need to improve most from Week 1 to Week 2?
My answer: It seems like a simplistic solution, but an improved Matthew Stafford would go a long, long ways in making this team competitive again.
We saw a glimpse of that on Monday night. The Lions played a pretty bad first half, but went into the locker room down only one score, thanks to a solid—but ultimately disappointing—two-minute drill. Stafford came out in the second half and had a literal perfect drive, going 4-for-4 with 80 yards and a touchdown, and suddenly the score was tied.
From there, Stafford was awful. His next pass was a pick-six. Then an incomplete pass after he scrambled and took a shot. The team went three-and-out and the ensuing punt was returned for a touchdown. The next drive, Stafford came back, threw an incomplete pass, then was picked off again.
So after the Lions tied the game in the third quarter, here’s Stafford’s statline in the next three drives: 0-for-4, 0 yards, 2 INTs (1 for a touchdown). That’s your entire ballgame.
The Lions played poorly throughout the game on Monday, but without that string of horrible plays from Stafford, they would’ve, at least, been in the game in the fourth quarter, and quite possibly still could’ve won it.
The good news is that kind of performance from Stafford is relatively rare, especially recently. Coming into Monday night, Stafford had only thrown two or more interceptions four times in his previous 40 games. Get back to that, and we’ll at least see an entertaining game this week.