Matthew Stafford’s Critics Are Unfounded

Matthew Stafford, the name brings up automatic debate. His mechanics, 1-23 vs winning teams, and on and on. Matthew Stafford’s career can be summarized by yesterday’s game. The Lions had 2 offensive touchdowns overturned and a defensive touchdown taken away from a penalty.

At halftime the Detroit Lions had 5 dropped passes. Calvin Johnson had a 20 yard Touchdown reversed because he failed to complete the “process” of the catch, 1 fumble (Brandon Pettitgrew), 1 Interception off pass deflected at the line on scrimmage, Deandre Levy Interception Touchdown called back (Ndamukong Suh illegal block), and Louis Delmas flagged for taunting Vikings WR Jerome Simpson.

Now is Stafford perfect? No, nobody is but he is darn good. He can’t help what Suh, Delmas, Pettitgrew do. Nor can he control if his WR is going to complete the “process” of the catch. All he can control is where he throws the ball and what he does when the ball is in his hands. How many times did we watch Joey Harrington take stupid sacks when he could have just thrown the ball away? Stafford plays a smart game for the most part. Everyone is going to make mistakes but Stafford rarely makes the same ones.

For some reason SOME Lions fans think Stafford is a bad QB. I totally disagree. Could he mix in a few pump fakes? Yeah. All in all I think he is a Top 10 QB in this league and only ascending. So while Ron Jaworski can babble on ESPN about how horrible Matthew’s mechanics are according to him, who wasn’t exactly a great QB himself. Love these analysts who weren’t really that good and crush these guys playing today. Sean Salisbury was an ESPN analyst for crying out loud. Now if Kurt Warner or anyone with some real credibility speaks I will listen but these ESPN guys are just made for tv. Their job is to stir the proverbial pot. ESPN has become a joke.

So while Matthew Stafford knows the QB gets the love for the Wins and hate for the Losses it’s hardly all on him.

Show me one of these names you’d bring back over Stafford.

Charlie Batch
Daunte Culpepper
Ty Detmer
Gus Frerotte
Jeff Garcia
Joey Harrington
Drew Henson
Jon Kitna
Erik Kramer
Dave Krieg
Mike McMahon
Scott Mitchell
Dan Orlovsky
Rodney Peete
Drew Stanton
Andre Ware

You can’t honestly say Stafford is not better than all these guys. At least I can not.

 

 

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5 Biggest Questions For Lions vs Vikings

1- Can Detroit run the ball? The Detroit Lions haven’t been able to sustain a rushing attack since the days of running back James Stewart. Yes it’s been that long folks. Well find out against a good Vikings defense whether or not they will be able to do so this season.

2- How will the offensive line play, especially the right side? With rookie Guard Larry Warford and Tackle Jason Fox taking over for the departed Gosder Cherilus and Stephen Peterman. Will Riley Reiff fare well against All World Defensive End Jared Allen?

3-Will the team as a whole stay away from self destructing penalties?

4-Will the Lions find a consistent 2nd receiving option opposite Calvin Johnson?

5- Will this defense create turnovers? Last year they were terrible with a -16 in turnover ratio.

 

It’s not a must win but it’s a HUGE game for many reasons. A home game against a divisional opponent, Lions went 0-6 versus divisional opponents last season, this season has many implications for the coaching staff and the front office so getting off to a fast start is essential.

 

 

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You Wanted It, You Got It. What Are You Going To Do With It?

So the Detroit Lions voted Ndamukong Suh a team captain on Friday. Suh said he wanted the role. Suh called a players only meeting on the same day of being named a captain. He stressed to the team playing without taking stupid penalties. Like personal fouls, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, playing past the whistle.

This may seem ironic coming from the man who has yet to show he has the on the field discipline that he’s asking his teammates to show. Everyone knows about the “stomp” and his multiple late hits but with this newly found leadership role it will say A TON about how far he has grown if he can go out there and lead by example in this part of the game.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the defensive line has been the biggest culprit in extending opposing teams drives by such stupid penalties. Suh, Nick Fairley, Willie Young are all guys who have done these things on the regular the past few seasons.

Whether or not the Lions can dramatically cutback on this penalties is yet to be seen. I will be watching the defensive line especially, to see improvement in this area and Suh being the leader and asking for discipline ALL eyes are firmly set on him to see if he can eliminate the dumb penalties he has been prone to so far throughout his young career without losing his intensity in the game.

Not committing these penalties and handing the opposition another 3 cracks at it will dramatically affect the Lions chances to win football games.

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My 53 Man Roster Prediction (Sure To Go Wrong)

Detroit Lions 2013 Final Roster prediction

Offense
WR
13    BURLESON, NATE U/Sea     83    Edwards, Patrick CF12

81    Johnson, Calvin 07/1     84    Broyles, Ryan 12/2         12         Willis, Matt SF13   5
OL
67    Sims, Rob T/Sea     74    Austin, Rodney CF12
71    Reiff, Riley 12/1     66    Waddle, LaAdrian CF13     00
70    Fox, Jason 10/4     78    Hilliard, Corey P/Cle
75    Warford, Larry                 65    GANDY, DYLAN SF09    8
TE
87    Pettigrew, Brandon 09/1     89    Williams, Michael 13/7     49
85    SCHEFFLER, TONY T/Den     47    Fauria, Joseph CF13   4
QB
9     Stafford, Matthew 09/1     14    HILL, SHAUN T/SF
17    Moore, Kellen CF12  3
RB
21    Bush, Reggie U/Mia         25    Leshoure, Mikel 11/2
35    Bell, Joique P/NO     34    40    Miller, Steven CF13
41    Riddick, Theo 13/6   5
Defense
DE
91    Jones, Jason U/Sea     79    Young, Willie 10/7
92    Taylor, Devin 13/4          94    Ansah, Ziggy 13/1
77    IDONIJE, ISRAEL SF13   5
DT
98    Fairley, Nick 11/1           90    Suh, Ndamukong 10/1
93    BANNAN, JUSTIN SF13   99    MOSLEY, CJ CC/Jax   4
LB
58    Palmer, Ashlee W/Buf        59    Whitehead, Tahir 12/5
55    Tulloch, Stephen U/Ten               52    MCINTOSH, ROCKY SF13
54    Levy, DeAndre 09/3         50    Lewis, Travis 12/7   6
CB
23    Houston, Chris T/Atl         28    Bentley, Bill 12/3
39    MATHIS, RASHEAN SF13     30    Slay, Darius 13/2
31    BARTELL, RONALD SF12  5
S
27    Quin, Glover U/Hou         29    WENDLING, JOHN SF10
42    Spievey, Amari 10/3
26    Delmas, Louis 09/2         32    Carey, Don SF11
5
Special Teams
P     6     Martin, Sam 13/5
PK     2     AKERS, DAVID CC/SF
LS     48    MUHLBACH, DON SF04      3

53

Practice Squad
34    Owens, Montell CC/Jax     41    60    SCOTT, JAKE SF13
95    Nwagbuo, Ogemdi SF12     10    Fuller, Corey 13/6
62    Keyton, Darren CF13         45    Chapas, Shaun SF12
57    Hepburn, Brandon 13/7     33    Greenwood, Chris 12/5

 

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A Look At The Lions 2012 Final Roster Positional Breakdown By Numbers

2012 Detroit Lions roster   *************My predictions on how this year’s team will shake out by the numbers
Quarterbacks   3       This year   2

14 Shaun Hill
17 Kellen Moore
9 Matthew Stafford

Running Backs  5   This year 4

35 Joique Bell
45 Shaun Chapas FB
25 Mikel Leshoure
    11 Stefan Logan
    30 Kevin Smith

Wide Receivers   5   This year 5

18 Kris Durham
81 Calvin Johnson
    10 Kassim Osgood
    80 Brian Robiskie
    19 Mike Thomas

Tight Ends  3   This year 4

89 Will Heller
87 Brandon Pettigrew
85 Tony Scheffler

Offensive Linemen    9        5 T’s         2 C’s         2 G’s   This year 9

   76 Jeff Backus T
    77 Gosder Cherilus T
70 Jason Fox T
65 Dylan Gandy C
78 Corey Hilliard T
  66 Stephen Peterman G
51 Dominic Raiola C
71 Riley Reiff T
67 Rob Sims G

Defensive Linemen 9          5 DE’s       4 DT’s           This year 10

    92 Cliff Avril DE
    96 Andre Fluellen DT
    94 Lawrence Jackson DE
97 Ronnell Lewis DE
    95 Ogemdi Nwagbuo DT
    63 Jimmy Saddler-McQueen DT
90 Ndamukong Suh DT
    93 Kyle Vanden Bosch DE
79 Willie Young DE

Linebackers    6    This year 6

    52 Justin Durant OLB
54 DeAndre Levy OLB
50 Travis Lewis MLB
58 Ashlee Palmer MLB
55 Stephen Tulloch MLB
59 Tahir Whitehead OLB

Defensive Backs  10        5 CB’s       3 SS’        2 FS’    This year 10

41 Ron Bartell CB
32 Don Carey SS
26 Louis Delmas FS
31 Drayton Florence CB
36 Jonte Green CB
23 Chris Houston CB
    24 Tyrell Johnson SS
    27 Pat Lee CB
    39 Ricardo Silva SS
29 John Wendling FS

Special Teams    3     This year 3

   4 Jason Hanson K
5 Nick Harris P
48 Don Muhlbach LS

Reserve Lists

28 Bill Bentley CB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
    44 Jahvid Best RB (PUP) Injury icon 2.svg
84 Ryan Broyles WR (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
13 Nate Burleson WR (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
98 Nick Fairley DT (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
33 Chris Greenwood CB (PUP) Injury icon 2.svg
    36 Jerome Harrison RB (NF-Ill.) Injury icon 2.svg
    98 Sammie Hill DT (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
    21 Jacob Lacey CB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
    61 Bill Nagy G (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
42 Amari Spievey SS (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
    99 Corey Williams DT (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
    16 Titus Young WR (IR) Injury icon 2.svg

Practice Squad

74 Rodney Austin G
    38 Conroy Black CB
    73 Justin Boren G
    12 Troy Burrell WR
83 Patrick Edwards WR (Injured) Injury icon 2.svg
   47 Carmen Messina MLB
    43 Devin Moore RB
    40 Lionel Smith CB (Injured) Injury icon 2.svg
    34 Ross Weaver CB

Rookies in italics
53 Active, 13 Inactive, 9 Practice Squad

                       

Players with lines through them are no longer in the organization.

 

 

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Lions Observations From Patroits Game

Joique Bell is better than Leshoure, deal with it.

Jason Jones looks like a stud.

Reggie Bush, Matthew Stafford, Chris Houston all impressive.

Far too many penalties and STILL LACKING DISCIPLINE. Willie Young incomplete pass on 2nd down taunts Tom Brady. STUPID. Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley each with Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties as well.

Offensive line is set and looked much better this week.

Ezekiel Ansah and Darius Slay will have rookie growing pains, I expect Ansah to have some real nice SPLASH plays.

DeAndre Levy has been real good looking all pre season long.

David Akers will be our kicker.

Kellen Moore was ok for the #3 QB still going to be surprised if he makes the team.

Patrick Edwards did not impress.

Matt Willis has looked real nice.

Looks like the 3 players, Justin Bannan, Rocky McIntosh, Rashaen Mathis, the Lions just brought in will be playing and making contributions.

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Martin Mayhew Is He A Competent General Manager?

 

Martin Mayhew has been an utter failure at drafting. There’s no way around that fact.  He has moved up in the draft two times for running backs. First, for Jahvid Best taking a gamble on a player who had maybe the worst looking concussion college football has ever seen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tyv4du7BTOc

They moved up and traded with Minnesota for the 30th overall pick, Here are the details; Detroit traded its second- and one of its seventh-round picks to the Vikings and flip-flopped picks in the fourth round with Minnesota. The Vikings went on to take Chris Cook with the 34th pick Everson Griffen and Mickey Schuler Jr. So the Vikings didn’t make out real well there.

Then the very next draft the Lions traded with Seattle for the 57th pick to take Mikel Leshoure. Here are the details; Seattle traded its 2nd-round pick, 5th-round and 7th-rd pick for Detroit’s 3rd (75), 4th (107), 5th (No. 154) and 7th (205). Leaving Detroit with ZERO picks in the 3rd and 4th round. How did the Seattle Seahawks fair? Well they got a solid backup Guard in John Moffitt and oh yeah with pick no. 154 in the 5th round they drafted a guy named Richard Sherman. Not that the Detroit Lions would have had the foresight to select the kid but it adds just a wee bit more salt in the wound.

As you can see I only rated 4 out of his 21 picks as Good to Great. When you take out Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh who were No.1 overall picks that means he has found 2 Good to Great players AND NONE OF THEM CAME PAST THE 1ST ROUND.

You look at the Packers and Ravens and the teams who are good, they draft guys like Ray Rice Marshal Yanda, Morgan Burnett, James Jones. Then they found guys WHO WEREN’T DRAFTED like Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, James Ihedigbo. The Lions currently have 1 undrafted player who has seen significant time on the active roster. Drum roll please…… Ashlee Palmer. Mostly a special teamer fighting for the Strong Side Linebacker position this year.

So you can decide if Mayhew has done a good job at drafting or not. Don’t forget one last thing, the team he inherited was horrible but it did have Calvin Johnson.

Martin Mayhew Picks

Underlined players are no longer in the Lions organization.
Total Miss  9           Marginal player/career  7        Good to Great player/career   4

 2009
1a     1     Matthew Stafford     QB     Georgia
1b     20     Brandon Pettigrew(from Dallas)     TE     Oklahoma State
2      33     Louis Delmas     S     Western Michigan
3b     76     DeAndre Levy(From Saints through Jets)     OLB     Wisconsin
3c      82     Derrick Williams(from Dallas)     WR     Penn State
4      115     Sammie Lee Hill(From Redskins through Jets)     DT     Stillman
6b     192     Aaron Brown(from Dallas)     RB     TCU
7a     228     Lydon Murtha(from the Jets)     OT     Nebraska
7b     235     Zack Follet(From Falcons through Broncos)     OLB     California
7c     255     Dan Gronkowski(Compensatory selection)     TE     Maryland

4 players left out of 10
2010
1a    2     Ndamukong Suh     DT     Nebraska
1b     30     Jahvid Best(from Minnesota)     RB     California
3     66     Amari Spievey     CB     Iowa
4b      128     Jason Fox(from Minnesota)     T     Miami
7b     213     Willie Young(from Seattle)     DE     North Carolina State
7e     255     Tim Toone     WR     Weber State

4 players left out of 6
2011
1     13     Nick Fairley     DT     Auburn
2a     44     Titus Young     WR     Boise State
2b      57     Mikel Leshoure     RB     Illinois
5c     157     Doug Hogue     LB     Syracuse
7b    209     Johnny Culbreath(from Cle through Sea)     T     South Carolina State

2 players left out of 5

So from 2009 through 2011 we have 10 players left out of 21, doesn’t take a math major to see his success rate is a shade under 50%. Not the success rate you want when THIS IS HOW YOUR TEAM IS BUILT, not free agency, but the draft.

2012
1     23     Riley Reiff     OT     Iowa
2     54     Ryan Broyles     WR     Oklahoma
3     85     Dwight Bentley     CB     Louisiana Lafayette
4b     125     Ronnell Lewis     OLB/DE     Oklahoma
5a     138     Tahir Whitehead     OLB     Temple
5b     148     Chris Greenwood     CB     Albion
6     196     Jonte Green     DB     New Mexico State
7a     223     Travis Lewis     OLB     Oklahoma
2013
1     5     Ezekiel Ansah     DE     BYU
2     36     Darius Slay     CB     Mississippi State
3     68     Larry Warford     G     Kentucky
4     132     Devin Taylor(Comp.)     DE     South Carolina
5     165     Sam Martin (From Ravens through Seahawks)     P     Appalachian St.
6     171     Corey Fuller     WR     Virginia Tech
6     199     Theo Riddick (From 49ers through Ravens and Seahawks) RB     Notre Dame
7     211     Michael Williams     TE     Alabama
7a     245     Brandon Hepburn (Comp.)     ILB     Florida A&M

 

 

 

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Lions Fans Brace Yourselves

The first 2 pre season games are in the books and the starting offense has scored ZERO touchdowns.

Let me get the bad out-of-the-way.

The secondary looks really bad. Bill Bentley is NOT  a slot corner. We have NO reliable receivers other than Calvin Johnson. Brandon Pettitgrew is STILL dropping passes. Scott Linehan is still calling the same plays he’s been calling since the day he came to Detroit. Scott, that end around isn’t fooling ANYBODY. We have 2 good running backs; Joique Bell and Reggie Bush and Linehan never puts them on the field at the same time. It’s the same looks over and over and over.

This team is not a playoff team. It’d be a miracle if we could be an 8-8 team. Jim Schwartz sealed his fate this off-season when he fired a very good assistant coach, one the players liked and trusted, Shawn Jefferson and failed to fire Linehan. On top of that Martin Mayhew did the team NO favors by not drafting a true #2 WR. In the 2nd round he took yet another cornerback who seems to be another failed pick. Meanwhile Robert Woods and Aaron Dobson were both on the board. In the 3rd round Keenan Allen, Terrance Williams were there. The one draft he doesn’t trade up. It’s like this organization can not dig its head out of the darn sand.

Now for the good. Nick Fairley looks very good. Reggie Bush is going to help this offense, just not as much as many believed when he signed. Ezekiel Ansah is going to make plays. Willie Young looks like a new man. Chris Houston is the only steady player on the secondary.  So if your counting at home, it’s the defensive line as the positive and everyone else as a question mark at best.  I believe once Schwartz finally chooses his starting offensive line that they will continue to get better throughout the season, Continuity is key for offensive lineman and it’s only gained by playing together.

I’m tired of Lions fans and media alike trashing Matthew Stafford. The kid is a very good QB. He can’t make guys hold onto the ball for him. He can’t block for himself and he can’t implement new offensive packages that would give him a higher percentage of having a good play. The only thing he can do is A) Be accurate and B) Be smart with the ball.

I’m not hitting the panic button because of 2 pre season games. I said it back in March. This team as currently constructed is not a playoff team. I hope they prove me wrong but I see way too many flaws with management and personnel for this to be a playoff season.

 

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