We may be a few days into the new year, but my head is still stuck in 2019. For a lot reasons, this past season will go down as one giant missed opportunity for the Detroit Lions.
The biggest missed opportunity, however, was losing Matthew Stafford for the final eight games of the season.
He threw for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 106 through the first half of the season. His yards per attempt was the highest of his career (8.6), nearly 1.5 yards more than his career average.
Before his back injury knocked him out, Stafford was playing the best football of his career.
And that brings us to today’s question:
What would the Lions’ record be if Matthew Stafford stayed healthy?
I don’t think there’s any question that they would have been better than a three-win team; but I’m not sure how much better, even with a healthy Stafford.
Rather than go with my gut, I’ll go with something slightly more scientific.
The Lions’ points per game with Stafford were 25.5 and without him they scored 17.1. That 8.4 points per game would have been good enough to win a few games.
- Chicago L 20-13 (-7)
- Dallas L 35-27 (-8)
- Washington L 19-16 (-3)
- Chicago L 24-20 (-4)
- Minnesota L 20-7 (-13)
- Tampa Bay L 38-17 (-21)
- Denver L 27-17 (-10)
- Green Bay L 23-20 (-3)
It obviously isn’t a perfect method, but based on my math that would give the Lions eight wins on the season — which actually feels about right.
How many wins would the Lions have had with Stafford playing the whole season?
This poll is closed
Four to Six
Seven or Eight
More than Eight