Classic Lions Decision Cost Stafford To Take a Step Back

Tony TuckerCorrespondent INovember 26, 2009

DETROIT , MI - NOVEMBER 26:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks on while playing the Green Bay Packers on November 26, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After last weeks heroic performance from Mathew Stafford the critics proclaimed that he had arrived as the savior to the Detroit Lions.  In his first Thanksgiving Day game of his career he did nothing to back up the hype he received after last Sundays win. 


Against the Browns Stafford had an amazing game, with that being said, did we forget that the Cleveland Browns are possibly the only team worst off than the Lions


Is the Lions organization trying to set up Stafford to fail? 


Appears so, I don’t believe that Stafford had any business being in the game when he is still below average at best with two good shoulders.


I understand that Thanksgiving is about sharing and giving back, so in that case the Loins should have donated some time and turkeys to the community.  Do not start the injured supposed future of your franchise and set back any or all moment that was gain by the victory last Sunday.


What did the Lions have to gain by starting a rookie with a separated shoulder against a solid defense and division foe in the Green Bay Packers?


Nothing, this was a missed opportunity to try and let the very capable back up Daunte Culpepper lead the team to victory.  Jim Schwartz should have let the team as a whole try to carry the wave of emotion to a win versus the more talented Packers team.


The Packers had to have this game to stay in the wildcard hunt, which gave the Lions little to no chance to win.  The Packers defense is ranked 7th in the league against the pass and has 14 INTs which ranks 4th most in the NFL.  Those statistics would lead you to believe that Stafford would have been better off spending the week on the bench.


The Lions also had their best offensive weapon Calvin Johnson banged up with a knee and hand injury.  Johnson has been a security blanket for the young buck at QB.


Stafford has suffered through his 5th multi interception game of the season and did so when he could have been rehabbing on the sidelines.  The injury probably was not improved by the 2 sacks and the several other hits he took. 


It appeared that the game was closer than it was at times, but that is only because the Packers offense is allergic to scoring in the red zone.  The Packers defense did not seem to bend until later in the second half and when they did the Lions did not have the health to get it in the end zone.  


What I mean by didn’t have the health is, they lost there tight end in the first half, Johnson was hobbled all day, and Kevin Smith was ushered off earlier on a late second half drive.


This game is not going to turn Stafford into Ryan Leaf, but on the other hand it is not going to do much to improve his confidence in the team’s ability.  I think this was a classic Lions move to play someone who didn’t belong in the game and caused Stafford to take a step back after just taking a step forward.