It’s been clear, most of the time, that the Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford is the unconditional franchise quarterback. Fans, for the most part, believe in him wholeheartedly, and often pass the buck to the coaching, defense, offensive line, running game or even the receivers. From time to time, the Lions’ faithful will question Stafford’s decision-making on the field, but usually it’s play by play, and rarely a larger question. Well, now it seems the tides have shifted a bit, and some folks in the great state of Michigan are asking the question they thought they’d never ask. Is Stafford good enough to take the Lions to the Super Bowl?
This season has been one of the most frustrating in many years. Actually, it’s the most frustrating season since the last most frustrating season, which by my count was just a couple seasons ago. That’s how the Lions fans feel. Coach Jim Schwartz is under the most powerful microscope, and is sitting on the hottest seat maybe in the entire league right now. When a team under-performs, it’s always the coaching, even if it’s not. Schwartz will no doubt be the first to go if the Lions don’t turn it around, but the scariest thing about that idea is that Stafford won’t have anything to pass the blame to in 2014.
The Lions this season have improved on the offensive line, defense and greatly improved in the running game. There is still the question of discipline, with an incredible amount of penalties still haunting the Lions, but that theoretically gets fixed with better coaching. If the Lions fix the discipline issue, and the offense still fails, Stafford may be the next on the chopping block. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but Lions fans are growing up. They’re now expecting more from their team, and they’re scrutinizing the details of the Lions’ lack of success. Pretty soon, if the Lions don’t do something big, the fans will stop believing in Stafford.