Detroit Lions: The Case For Drew Stanton

Ben HavisContributor IJanuary 11, 2011

DETROIT - DECEMBER 12:  Drew Stanton #5 of the Detroit Lions runs for a first down during the the game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on December 12, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Packers 7-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions' 2010 season has come to a close. Two of our quarterbacks have won at least two games each, and not one of them is named Matthew Stafford. When backup Shaun Hill continued the trend of injured Lions quarterbacks by breaking his finger, his second injury of the season, much maligned third-stringer Drew Stanton took his place for the next three starts.

With only one career start under his belt, a forgettable game against the San Francisco 49ers, many wondered how well the former Michigan State Spartan would play against the Chicago Bears.

Then, something strange happened. Stanton actually played like an NFL quarterback, much to almost everyone's surprise, and to every Lions fans' glee. Drew didn't produce a single turnover while throwing for a touchdown and rushing for another against Chicago. But as we all know, Drew didn't keep his game up, and turned in an ugly game against the Green Bay Packers the following week.

But in a reversal of fortune the Lions managed get a win, only made possible by a dominating defense that allowed the Packers to put up only three points. Yes, some might mention that the Packers played without Aaron Rodgers for the second half of the game. But we also must remember that Rodgers was completely ineffective in the half he did play in. And, as Jim Schwartz is always mentioning, it's the end result that matters. It may have been an ugly win, but it was a win. And a big win at that.

Anyway, this isn't about the defense or the Packers, it's about Stanton. Drew did what Hill was unable to do (at least until he returned) and led the Lions to back-to-back wins for the first time since 2007.

Were they ugly at times? Yes. Was Drew perfect? Hardly. But Stanton, as if playing for his NFL career, gave the Lions what they have been waiting for for what has seemed like an eternity. Now, I am not saying Stanton should be our new starter, or even our backup, just that he should be given his due.

It is also worth mentioning that Stanton has had to learn and unlearn three different offensive styles during his tenure with the Lions. When he came into the league in 2007, he began learning Mike Martz's offense. Only a year later, Martz was replaced by Jim Colletto, and with him came a new system to learn. Then, after the disastrous 2008 season, Scott Linehan entered as the new Detroit offensive coordinator, bringing with him his own system.

Looking back on this, how can anyone expect Stanton to just step in and excel? Especially with only one previous start? For two games, Drew performed better than anyone expected. Say what you will about his skill, but he got results. I would love to keep Drew on the team, but I believe he deserves better than this. I want to see him do well, and that can only happen with a team that will handle him properly.