August 6, 2017
The Detroit Lions are in the middle of training camp, and will play their first preseason game next Sunday. It’s time they sign QB Matthew Stafford now rather than later. Like it or not, he’s their best hope for a postseason win. Here’s the “First Day Sports Take with Pat Johnston.”
Time for the “First Day Sports Take” on WSGW.
The weather turned a bit cool this past Friday and Saturday, and it tasted like football weather!
We already had the first NFL preseason game last week, and the Detroit Lions will play their first preseason contest next Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
But the Lions have some major unfinished off-the-field work they must face before the start of the regular season.
That’s signing their quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Stafford’s about to play in the final year of his contract. He’s due a decent paycheck from the Lions organization because he’s been the star of what has been frustrating team to watch during his nine seasons.
The Lions haven’t won a playoff game with Stafford, that’s true. But without him, can you honestly argue they would’ve been part of postseason play?
It’s not like Stafford’s playing for the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, or the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers where the defense ruled the day, and all the quarterback had to do was play safe.
Stafford can’t afford to play it safe. He has to take chances to win ballgames because the Lions aren’t good enough rely on other players to get the job done.
Not yet, at least.
Stafford led the Lions on an unprecedented eight game-winning fourth quarter drives last year, the most in a single year.
And he did that without some of his offensive weapons.
Recall that Stafford was playing without running backs Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick for the final quarter of the season. Actually, Abdullah missed most of the year.
Once the Lions made the playoffs, it didn’t help Stafford to be without those essential offensive weapons. It also didn’t help that his receiving corps couldn’t hold onto the ball in the playoff game at Seattle.
Like it or not, while Stafford’s no Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, he’s the just below them, and has got unbelievable talent to lead a team to a playoff victory.
Do you know of someone else on the market who could do a better job than Matthew Stafford?