So far this season, the Lions have struggled thanks in part to the problems of Stafford, who’s had turnover problems on the field and has not been able to avoid sacks in the pocket. His up and down play has cost the offense dearly at times, and in recent weeks, Stafford has had the feel of a regressing quarterback even in spite of some improvements that are made. The Lions do need help elsewhere, but above all, they’ve needed some better work from the offense and play from Stafford himself, as the defense has given them a chance.
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This season, the Lions hoped those improvements to the team’s run game as well as offensive line will help tip the scales as it relates to the quarterback finding more consistency and bigger wins in the future. By adding Frank Ragnow, Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount this offseason, the expectation is the Lions have done enough to improve some of their biggest weaknesses around the quarterback. Perhaps the biggest argument has been that the Lions have not had health up front, either. With that in the rear view mirror from 2017, it was go time for the team to get better in some key spots, and the team has improved at least a little bit in those ways despite their dismal 4-8 record.
In spite of the troubles this season, it doesn’t seem likely that the team will pull the plug on Stafford, but at the very least, there should be some type of honest analysis of his struggles from the coordinator himself. Apparently that’s not going to be happening because it’s privileged information.In the meantime, all Stafford has done has been will his team to wins and more accomplishments than many could even imagine given some of the talent he’s been working with for years. That, along with his age and arm talent, makes him an indispensable guy. Perhaps he doesn’t have the playoff success and wins of some of the top other passers in the league, but there is no doubting the fact that he is a true franchise player for the Lions. He’s the best quarterback they’ve had in decades, and they’re building around him.
Whether or not they’re successful is still anyone’s guess, but it will be interesting to compare the teams who pay quarterbacks against the ones who do not to see if Faulk is right.