Sometimes you do all the research on a stock that you can. You think you know it well, you’ve got the pulse on what is going on, and you make your move.
It doesn’t work. So you try another move, and somehow it goes against you again. You sell, it gets pumped. You buy, it crashes. It can only be attributed to the work of some malevolent being hovering over your every move.
This is where we are with the Lions. You’ve lost everything now. I wish I could say you won money shorting this team, but I want to see your receipts first. We’ve all lost here when there’s nothing left.
Stock way down: Matthew Stafford
There’s no way to defend his play anymore. You can’t even try.
Given the chance to bail his team out, Stafford threw a pick, and then threw another one. He did not correct his errors, he doubled down. I think I mentioned before somewhere that Stafford’s antics make me think he’s reverted to some form of his play about eight to ten years prior to today. That’s disconcerting on many levels. It’s more disconcerting when you realize that brilliant 2016 season is now well into the rear-view mirror. As with Jim Harbaugh and that Citrus Bowl, you can’t keep leaning on it anymore.
2020 is proving the year that allows every doubter of Stafford to finally be right. His inability to evoke drives early on, coupled with later mistakes, puts him in a hole where he has to furiously dig his way out. This time, it doesn’t look like he’s grabbing the shovel.
When I would previously discuss Stafford’s troubles, there was always a ready-made excuse. This time, he has none. What excuse can you ever give to Stafford? That he didn’t practice this week? That the Vikings defense was just too mean to him?
The one excuse I will reckon with is that the offensive playcalling still does not play to his strengths. However, I do not buy into this campaign to “#LetStaffCook.” When Stafford has taken risks and put the game into his own hands, he’s created more disasters recently than he has salvation. We must conclude then that Stafford is an agent of chaos when he begins to cook: you’re either getting the Atlanta prime rib or you’re getting the Minnesota food poisoning.
Stafford is not elite. Elite quarterbacks would pave over the mistakes of their teams, not add to them. If ever there was a barometer to how well the Lions season was going, it was always Stafford, and Stafford is not doing so well.
Stock down: Amani Oruwariye
Bad bad bad bad bad just really bad okay? Always a step behind his coverage. What the hell, man?
Stock down: Everson Griffen
You got baboon ass red mad at your former coach for calling you a good player and the best you could produce was a deflected pass.
I respect football players and their need to find any motivation wherever they can take it. Sometimes that becomes an utterly bizarre effort, like the Patriots a few years ago braying how nobody believed in them when everyone did, quite to the contrary, believe in them.
But this was just bush league stuff from Griffen, who paid it all off by putting absolutely no noticeable pressure on Kirk Cousins.
In that moment, it stops being about you feeling slighted or looking for motivation. You’re just a clown. Tell me another joke next week. Maybe this will be better bulletin board material.
Stock up: T.J. Hockenson
With Golladay out, Hockenson is the most dependable weapon that the Lions currently possess. He’s playing like it, even if the Lions continue to spread the ball around and appreciably de-value any actual receiving weapon they might have from this evaluation.
Stock up: Kerryon Johnson
Once again, there is no reason that the role of Adrian Peterson can’t completely be filled by Kerryon Johnson. He even got in on the pass-catching action on Sunday. Effective, versatile, doing good things out there. Naturally, you should expect the Lions to forego this result sitting before your very eyes, because good things are not allowed on this cold, barren Terra.
Stock down: Matt Prater
I will no longer be safe on the first, and only the first, Matt Prater kick of the game. I will tremble and fit, rock and roll as I wonder what kind of chicanery that ball will get up to.
Missing kicks is one thing. Missing them in repeat weeks seems to scream of a large problem underneath it all. Prater settled in for the rest of the game, but why did that first one just go so wrong?
We’re not at Matt Nagy levels of obsession over this matter. After all, the Lions aren’t exactly kicking for anything important in these games anyway.
Stock up: Austin Bryant
HOLY CRAP HE BLOCKED A DADGUM PUNT. THAT WAS SO COOL ah man I forgot about everything else I was gonna write. Seriously that really saved the day for me.