clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thursday open thread: What would the Lions’ record be if Matthew Stafford stayed healthy?

Would the team still be picking in the top 5? Could they have made the playoffs?

Detroit Lions v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

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.

Your turn!


How many wins would the Lions have had with Stafford playing the whole season?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Still Three
    (26 votes)
  • 18%
    Four to Six
    (388 votes)
  • 48%
    Seven or Eight
    (1006 votes)
  • 31%
    More than Eight
    (648 votes)
2068 votes total Vote Now

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.