The Detroit Lions passing offense was under fire this week following their third loss in four games. We’ll cover that and more in today’s headlines.
Despite losing their third game in four contests, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had a stellar performance in Week Four. The veteran passer completed 24 of his 30 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against the Dallas Cowboys. It took some last minute heroics by the Cowboys in order to win the contest with a walk-off field goal.
Although Stafford posted season-highs in completion percentage (80%) and passing yards per attempt (10.2) against Dallas, all while being sacked a high of three times, the 10-year quarterback came under fire this week. And so has his wide receiver corps. Let’s dive into those topics in today’s headlines.
Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback turned football analyst for CBS, Boomer Esiason, took to the radio waves this past week to criticize Stafford for his lack of energy and leadership. Head coach Matt Patricia went to bat for his new passer in the above statement. Esiason’s comments seem unwarranted considering Stafford’s performance and that he nearly pulled out the victory last weekend.
To add more insult to Esiason’s comments about Stafford is the fact the Lions’ receiver corps continues to be undervalued. According to the Pro Football Focus article above, Detroit possesses only the seventh best receiver group in the NFL. With teams like the Houston Texans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ranking higher.
The Lions passing offense came under even more fire this week, specifically due to their ineffectiveness in the red zone. According to TeamRankings.com, Detroit ranks dead last in that category at 33 percent. And those struggles are due in large part because the team does not have a reliable receiving tight end as a red zone target.
One of the difference makers Tim Twentyman points out in the above article is wide receiver, Kenny Golladay. The 2017 third rounder has been on a tear through the first four games of the season, nearly matching his rookie totals in this short span.
Despite the recent criticism, the Lions’ receiver corps is poised to have a big game against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday. Golden Tate is coming off a stellar performance against the Cowboys, posting eight catches for 132 yards and two scores. Golladay is having a breakout second season. Combined with Marvin Jones‘ chronicled success against the Packers; Week Five could be huge for this passing offense.