Kyle Meinke from MLive mused about the future of Matthew Stafford with the Detroit Lions in a long article on Friday. Although he concedes the “do-or-die” thing seems to pop up every season, the state of the current regime and Stafford’s contract really make that characterization seem legitimate to the writer this year. A good deal of what Meinke explores in the column is the aggressiveness of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense attacking down the field with deep throws. This is something we’ve talked about often during the last eight months.
This is a huge year for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. Some might even say it's a do-or-die year. In fact, one of Stafford's closest friends is already saying it.— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) September 11, 2020
To live or die by the long ball, my story on Matthew Stafford: https://t.co/sBQdrLTT2G pic.twitter.com/udHb7RTZ3b
The vertical design of the offense showed up in Kenny Golladay’s outstanding yards-per-catch and yards-per-target figures and Marvin Hall’s array of big plays last season. Could the return of a healthy Stafford bode well for the return of the deep threat version of Marvin Jones Jr. that the Lions had in 2017? Although it’s not mentioned much in Meinke’s piece, an underrated factor in how the Lions attack the deep part of the defense may actually be the new personnel in the ground game.
Darrell Bevell and Adrian Peterson were together in MIN from 2007-10— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) September 10, 2020
Peterson in that time:
1,199 Rush Attempts (most)
90.4 Rush Grade (T-1st)
I can see why he enjoyed his time with Bevell as his OC#OnePride https://t.co/Ar5BdZLDCT
Adding a very likely future Hall of Fame running back who has a history with coach Bevell and a dazzling second-round talent like D’Andre Swift (well, when he gets healthy) to Kerryon Johnson and the stable of running backs should cause opposing defenses to think twice about selling out to play the pass every down. Pulling up the linebackers and giving even a momentary pause to the pass rushers creates opportunities for veteran quarterbacks with cannon arms like Stafford. We leave you now to fantasize about what Stafford could do with a competent rushing game, and move on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- For entertainment purposes only, Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon runs down all of the BetMGM Lions-related proposition bets for the year.
- According to the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, even Peanut Tillman thought the Calvin Johnson non-touchdown catch against the Bears should have counted.
- Fox 2 Detroit’s Dan Miller interviewed former Chicago Bear and current Detroit Lion Nick Williams. The video is available for viewing on the Fox 2 website.
- Michael Rothstein at ESPN wrote about how all quarterbacks have done well against the Lions defense (including Mitchell Trubisky) over the past two seasons.
- Rod Beard at the Detroit News has a story on how the closure of Sunday’s game to fans will break T.J. Hockenson’s family’s streak of attending all of his games since college. Justin Rogers wrote about this impressive family commitment last year.
- Chris Burke and Nick Baumgardner are great writers with The Athletic. You can now find their podcast on Google as well as their own web site: