Lions' Matthew Stafford Thinks Offense Can Improve in Darrell Bevell's 2nd Year

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
John Hefti/Associated Press

Matthew Stafford's promising start with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in 2019 came to an abrupt end after eight games due to a back injury, but the Detroit Lions quarterback is optimistic about what the offense can do next season.  

Speaking to Tim Twentyman of Lions.com, Stafford addressed his confidence level entering the second year working with Bevell:

"We want to be a great offense, and the first step to it is making sure everyone is on the same page pulling in the same direction. I think we've got that. Hopefully we can continue to grow and get better in year two. ... It doesn't hurt to be in a second year of an offense and not try to learn something new and try to be a rookie quarterback or second-year guy coming in."

Stafford was on pace to have the best year of his career in 2019. He threw for 2,499 yards, 19 touchdowns, five interceptions and was averaging a career-high 8.6 yards per attempt in eight games. 

The Lions were a respectable 3-4-1 and averaged 25.5 points per game with Stafford under center. He was a limited participant in practice leading up to a Nov. 10 game against the Chicago Bears but was ultimately ruled out with a back injury. 

Detroit later revealed Stafford suffered tiny, non-displaced fractures in the upper thoracic spine due to a hit suffered in Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Dec. 17. 

With Stafford out of the lineup, the Lions averaged 17.25 points and lost their last eight games of the season. 

Bevell and Stafford will look to get the Lions back into playoff contention coming off back-to-back losing seasons and having not made the postseason since 2016.