Detroit's Passing Game: Why Lions Fans Shouldn't Despair

Caleb M.Analyst ISeptember 13, 2009

So if you have NFL Sunday Ticket, you might have caught part of the Lions game. If you did, you may be thinking, "There's three hours of my life I'm never getting back." Especially for us Lions fans who have so much hope.

I'm just going to take the passing aspect of the game, break it down, and explain what needs to be done. But most importantly, why we shouldn't despair and give up hope on Stafford.

So the most obvious stat is, well, obvious. Three picks. Not one, not two, but three interceptions. I didn't catch the first two for whatever reason...but I know the third was really an incredible pass. 

He zipped it straight to Johnson. Beautiful spiral pass. The defender ripped the ball from him and ran with it. I kid you not, he ripped it right out of his arms. I was amazed with NO's defense that play, but couldn't help but admire Stafford.

He played good for his first game ever. And with the Lions, that's saying something. He had rather good protection all game. The Lions only allowed one sack all game.

Stafford also didn't throw a touchdown pass all game. 

Where's the bright side you ask?

He was remarkably accurate. Nearly every pass was a perfect spiral, right on the money as far as accuracy goes. Now, he did throw some overhead passes, yeah yeah. But look at the positives.

He stayed calm, never gave up, and took chances. The worst thing he can do now is beat himself up. He played fine, and I'm proud to be a Lions fan come what may. He still threw 16/37 for over 200 yards. 

He hit Calvin Johnson for three times for 90 yards. What I don't get is...why not more? Well, he overthrew CJ (I counted) four times. That'll pass as the season goes along—he is only a rookie.

Stafford simply needs to study some film, analyze what his weaknesses are, and practice. The offensive line is there. That was proved today—only one sack. The weapons are there—Kevin Smith, Calvin and Bryant Johnson, Pettigrew, and Northcut. 

What's lacking? Experience. Now before you all go off on how Culpepper should start, consider something. Check this out. And this. There are reasons. 

He'll grow in time. But for now, just looking at the stats, it does look bad. 

Again, he needs more practice, and needs to  not get down on himself. We don't want this to turn into another Joey situation. That'd be disaster. 

He zipped the ball into double man coverage multiple times with beautiful passes that found their mark. Matthew got the ball to Calvin Johnson and converted on fourth down. Stafford also never gave up as the Lions have in times past.

Don't despair Lions fans...he'll get better. The passing game was below average today, but for a rookie Quarterback I'm happy. Honestly, it's so improved. I'm proud of all our guys out there and look forward to next week.