Yesterday in Detroit Lions 42-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, quarterback Matthew Stafford was benched for backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky, during the third quarter of the game, after throwing his third interceptions in the game. Now there are questions in Detroit, with the status of Matthew Stafford and how long he is going to be the starting quarterback. Has Stafford run out of chances with Detroit?
In 5 games this season for the Lions, Stafford threw for 1,205 yards, 6 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, with a passer rating of 74.8. The team had high expectations this season, of maybe challenging for the NFC North title. But right now the team is sitting dead last in the NFL, with a record of 0-5. They are the only winless team in the league right now. The team is currently fighting for the 1st overall pick with the San Francisco 49ers who are the second worst team in the league.
Even though Stafford and company are having a bad start to the season, there is still an upside to Stafford. He has a big arm and knows how to throw the ball down the field with good accuracy. He can stay in the pocket, finding the receiver down the field. The problem with Stafford is he is known to be really inconsistent, one game he will look like a franchise quarterback and other games he will look like not the franchise quarterback. Coming out of college scouts said that Stafford had a problem with arm accuracy this season we are starting to see those problems.
Drafted by the team with the first overall pick in 2009, Stafford had high hopes of becoming the franchise quarterback. There was hope he could turn them from an 0-16 team to a contender in the NFC and Super Bowl contenders. All the team got season after season is disappointment from Stafford. In his seventh season the team should be up there with one of the best teams in the NFC. Instead the team is dead last in the league.
The team has brought in a lot of offensive firepower for Stafford, to use to make the team a dominating force in the NFC. With players like Golden Tate, the team already has one of the best receivers in Calvin Johnson. Even with these two Stafford could not get the job done. The offensive line is also to blame. But when you have been in the league for seven years, you would think that Stafford would know how to work under pressure.
When you are throwing three interceptions in a game, you know that you are having a bad game. It was more than that Stafford was missing open receivers, not driving down the field vs the Cardinals besides one time for a touchdown. That was not enough to keep him in the game. According to reports after the second interception, coach Jim Caldwell told Stafford that if he throws another interception he would take him out of the game benching him for Orlovsky. The third one sealed the deal for Stafford to be benched.
Caldwell told the media after the game that Stafford is still the starting quarterback. But the question is how long is he going to be the starting quarterback? Stafford has not been performing well this season, and depending on how he does during the rest of the season, the team might have to think about whether or not Stafford is really the answer in Detroit.
If the team decides that Stafford is not the answer, the best thing to do is have a bad season hoping to get a top five draft pick. The quarterback draft pool this year is pretty deep like California quarterback Junior Jared Goff, Michigan State quarterback Senior Connor Cook, and Ohio State quarterback senior Cardale Jones.
Time is ticking really for Stafford, if he wants to stay as the starting quarterback of the Detroit Lions. He really has to impress everyone, putting up impressive stats leading the Lions to an unbelievable run from an 0-5 team to a playoff team. This is really unheard of in the league. If things do not turn around for Stafford, expect him to not be the starting quarterback for the Lions next season.
Stafford is not that bad of a quarterback, but these years should be his prime years. Maybe going to another team will give him the motivation to become the starting quarterback that the team wanted him to become when the team drafted him. No doubt Stafford is great talent and a good quarterback, but it is just not working out so far in Detroit.