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Monday open thread: Which quarterback would you rather start on Thanksgiving?

Where will the quarterback carousel stop?

Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

We got our first look at an offense not led by Jared Goff, and it wasn’t pretty.

Losing your starting quarterback to injury is never a positive, but given the struggles of Goff this season, many were clamoring for a change. With Tim Boyle healthy enough following his hand injury, he slotted into the top spot with Goff out due to injury.

Unfortunately, the issues within the the Detroit Lions run deep, and a mere change at quarterback yielded nothing different. The Lions lost to the Cleveland Browns 13-10 in what was an ugly outing for both squads. If you craved explosive passing attacks, you should have watched the Packers-Vikings game. Instead, Boyle managed a mere 77 passing yards. His Browns counterpart, Baker Mayfield, threw for 176 yards. Neither quarterback looked anywhere near impressive on Sunday with plenty of misfires throughout the game.

The Lions fell to 0-9-1, but the road ahead could be difficult. Their next game is on Thanksgiving, a short week that may prove costly for the team. Goff may not be recovered, and string of injuries—including a concussion for guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai—could see the Lions walking wounded come Thursday.

Regardless of who starts for the Lions, some type of improvement needs to happen. Boyle struggled in his debut, but Goff has been discouraging too. The Lions put up a clunker in the passing game the week before as well, and they have thrown a single touchdown pass in their previous six games. Not six quarters, but six games. That’s a horrific level of passing incompetence. The Lions have failed to top 20 points in nine-straight games.

With only a few days to prepare for next week, the Lions have questions at quarterback. Will Jared Goff be healthy enough to start? Will Tim Boyle take the reins again if he isn’t? Was Boyle’s performance so bad that you consider starting David Blough? None of these are great questions to be asking, but they are ones befalling the Detroit Lions.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Which quarterback would you rather start on Thanksgiving?

My answer: I would rather start Tim Boyle. This question is like asking where you’d rather be punched by Mike Tyson—none of them are good options, but you have to pick one.

Despite the horrible start from Boyle, I think he is the best available option. Goff will be the starter when healthy, but there’s no reason to rush him back into the starting role. We’ve seen nine weeks of Goff, and we know what we’re getting with him. Let him rest—the Lions aren’t sacrificing much by doing so.

As for Boyle, I’m willing to let the experiment run for one more week. The offense was bad on Sunday, yet it has been bad every week. We have mentioned numerous times how little chemistry there is between the Lions’ quarterback and receivers. Not only was Boyle not receiving first-team snaps in training camp, he has been on the Injured Reserve for most of the season. To say there is no rapport between him and the skill position players would be an understatement. I’m hopeful that he’d improve in his second appearance, although that’s a low bar to clear. He still has the strongest arm on the team, and while his accuracy is wild, I would rather take deep shots than short dump offs.

The question, of course, is if the play calling can adapt to that. Boyle was limited to just one deep throw on the day, which happened to be an interception. The offensive line is playing admirably despite mounting injuries, so Boyle isn’t strapped for time in the pocket. As with Jared Goff, comfort is key for producing an effective passing offense. The Lions sadly can’t establish anything when their quarterbacks are struggling to throw the football. I’m hoping an extra few practices can settle some nerves and improve communication.

The other option is David Blough, but I don’t consider him a better alternative than Boyle—technically, Steven Montez is on the practice squad, but starting him would be an unbelievable move. Many of Goff’s limitations are present with Blough, and his upside is extremely limited. We’ve seen his stint as a starting quarterback, and it amounted to five lackluster outings. Had Boyle not gotten hurt, I’m not certain Blough would have made the 53-man roster. The coaching staff doesn’t seem keen on him either given how quickly they turned to Boyle.

My argument for starting Boyle is that he is a relative unknown. I think Blough is well-known by now, and it is nothing to write home about. The odds of Boyle amounting to anything more than backup-caliber play is low, but I think you should at least take the chance and see what you have.

I’m not writing off Boyle after one showing, but he certainly faces an uphill battle to ease the fanbase’s worries.

Your turn.


Which quarterback would you rather start on Thanksgiving?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Jared Goff
    (327 votes)
  • 26%
    Tim Boyle
    (502 votes)
  • 55%
    David Blough
    (1037 votes)
1866 votes total Vote Now

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