Last week was ugly. Let’s try not to focus on that and put our attention on the San Francisco 49ers for this week’s bold prediction of the week. Part of a season-long series, it will be exactly as the title indicates: one hot take every week about what will unfold on Sunday (or in this case, Thursday). Let’s check out this week’s prediction.
Bold prediction of the week: Matthew Stafford throws for 3 TDs, no picks against 49ers
Last week featured a Matthew Stafford who looked the way we expected rookie Sam Darnold to look on Monday night, throwing four picks in a brutal loss in the Lions’ season opener. After the game, New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee said “we knew (Stafford’s) signals; we knew everything,” prompting many Lions fans to go into a panicked frenzy.
Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean that it’s time to fire offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, or that head coach Matt Patricia’s tenure is doomed since he lost his first game. As Patricia explained in the postgame and Lee alluded to in his quote from ESPN, it was merely a thorough job done by the defense in film study and preparation for Week 1.
“Lee said.... “That’s just preparation as a defense. ... It seemed like we were in his head as a defense.” It certainly appeared that way. Jets players said they weren’t stealing signals; they attributed it to thorough preparation and scouting.”
Heading into Week 2, that means the offense is bound for a refresher. Unlike the Jets, San Francisco didn’t have an entire offseason to prepare for the Lions. In addition, after the big reveal about the Jets recognizing the offensive signals, there’s no doubt that Stafford and Cooter have made some adjustments to them over the past week.
In whole, that means we can go into Sunday expecting the Lions offense to look a lot less like they did Monday night, and a lot more like the competent air raid we knew and loved in 2017.
Even against a solid 49ers defense, I think a refreshed and hungry Stafford comes out hot in Santa Clara and plays with a chip on his shoulder to the tune of three touchdowns and no interceptions. The offense shines and plays with confidence as they erase all of last week’s doubts in Week 2.
Do you think that will happen, or will we see a repeat of the “Monday Night Football” meltdown? Let us know in the comments.