Detroit Lions: Why Matthew Stafford's Injury Won't Matter

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer ISeptember 13, 2010

Detroit Lions: Why Matthew Stafford's Injury Won't Matter

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions prepares for warm-ups before the NFL season opening game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    It sucks that a quarterback's season has to start the way Matthew Stafford's did today.

    The first-round pick in 2009 out of the University of Georgia left the game in the first half with what the team is calling a shoulder injury, though no further details have been given.

    Stafford was dropped by Julius Peppers and came up holding his throwing arm. I can't imagine it would feel good to have that big of a guy land on top of you.

    While it's unknown just how long Stafford will be on the shelf, here are 10 reasons why it won't really matter for the Detroit Lions.

Shaun Hill Is a More Than Capable Starter

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    DENVER - AUGUST 21:  Quarterback Shaun Hill #14 of the Detroit Lions looks to deliver a pass against the Denver Broncos during preseason NFL action at INVESCO Field at Mile High on August 21, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Lions defeated the Broncos 25-20.
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Shaun Hill, who came in for Stafford to start the third quarter, spent the last three seasons in San Francisco and has shown flashes of being a good backup quarterback.

    He threw for 2,046 yards and 13 touchdowns during the 2008 season. Only problem is, Lions fans aren't going to like him when he turned the ball over twice (1 INT, 1 fumble) today.

Even Stafford Couldn't Overcome Tough Schedule

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks for receiver against the Chicago Bears during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by Jon
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Okay, so the Lions got jobbed today, I think we can all admit that.

    However, when you have Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Green Bay coming up, not to mention the New York Giants, not sure the Lions would be any better off even with their starter against those four teams.

Jahvid Best Could Carry The Load

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit runs for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    If Stafford is out for any length of time, just ask Shaun Hill to give the ball to former Cal running back Jahvid Best and let him carry the load.

    He did score twice today, did he not?

Defense Is Going To Give The Lions Turnovers

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears runs for a first down as Zack Follett #49 of the Detroit Lions pursues during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Lions' defense picked Jay Cutler once and forced three fumbles.

    Giving your offense four turnovers will give them plenty of chances to put points on the board, regardless who's at quarterback.

But Their Passing Defense Stinks

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Greg Olsen #82 of the Chicago Bears grabs a pass for a first down as C.C. Brown #39 of the Detroit Lions goes for the tackle during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    If your secondary is going to give up almost 400 yards through the air per game, it won't matter how many points your offense puts up.

    Just wait 'til they face a quarterback that can put the ball in the end zone four or five times per game.

No Playoff Race In Detroit This Season

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears is pursued by Zack Follett #49 of the Detroit Lions during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo by J
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Like this slideshows, the Lions will be chasing everyone else in the division this season.

    Maybe they're on their way up, but not far enough to be a playoff team.

    With or without their starter.

Weak Offensive Line

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    GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 18: Members of the Detroit Lion offensive line including Stephen Peterman #66 and Dominic Raiola #51 prepare for the start of play against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 18, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Pack
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    While you don't want to put blame one single person for Stafford's injury this afternoon, you might think that an injury of some sort was inevitable especially with a weak offensive line.

    If they don't fix that in a hurry, his return could be short-lived or it could force him to make throws just to protect his shoulder.

Talent and Depth at Wide Receiver

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    DETROIT - AUGUST 28:  Nate Burleson #13 of the Detroit Lions tries to escape the tackle of Eric Wright #21 of the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game on August 28, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Lions have a lot of talented wide receivers who can be used whether it's Stafford or Hill at quarterback with guys like Nate Burleson and Calvin Johnson.

Stafford Not Quite Mature Enough To Lead Detroit

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    DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 02:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the start of the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field on September 2, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    There's no question that Stafford is a talented quarterback, but how many second-year guys have led their teams to the playoffs, let alone winning records?

Because They Always Find Ways to Lose

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 12: Head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions watches as his team takes on the Chicago Bears during the NFL season opening game at Soldier Field on September 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 19-14. (Photo
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Not sure when the Lions were ever a team to watch in the NFL but with the solid draft picks this past April, they're getting there, but they're not there yet.

    Yes they got screwed out of a win this afternoon by the officials, but then again, the Lions have always found ways to lose.

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