Matthew Stafford Fails To Take Next Step In Crippling Loss For Detroit Lions

By Ryan Wenzell
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions had a chance to make a statement on Monday Night by beating the defending champion Baltimore Ravens and in the process taking control of the NFC North.

They failed.

While the Lions’ defense played their hearts out, Stafford and the offense completely stalled after a scoring drive to open the game. They never seemed completely in sync. Making matters worse, the normally sure-handed Calvin Johnson dropped a few crucial passes that hit him right in the hands. These weren’t short passes either. If he hauls these in as he usually does they would have gone for big plays.

Stafford did not have his best showing, but his best receiver also let him down on numerous occasions. Stafford is a gunslinger in every sense of the word. He is in the mold of a Tony Romo or a Brett Favre in that he will try to fit it in even the tightest of windows.

Stafford has all the physical skills in the world, but sometimes that works to his detriment. He has the mindset that he can make every throw in the book. Sometimes it’s best just to check it down, throw it away, or eat the sack — live to fight another down.

Never was that more evident than when Stafford threw a lollipop up there that landed right in Ravens safety Matt Elam‘s hands. The Lions still had 30 plus seconds on the clock and all three of their timeouts. They just needed a few more positive gains to get into range to kick a game-winning field goal.

That is a throw you do not make regardless of circumstance, but especially when you still have that much time left. That brutal decision unfortunately may also end the Lions’ season.

They no longer control their fate as they need other teams in their division to lose for them. The Lions simply cannot get out of their own way.

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