Film Review: What’s wrong with Lions’ offense?

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A version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

Entering this season, there were high expectations for a Lions’ offense that was far too inconsistent last season.

Detroit’s priority in the off-season was to improve the offensive line and, by extension, the league’s 28th-ranked rushing attack, which averaged a paltry 3.6 yards-per-carry (29th). They traded for veteran guard/center Manny Ramirez, drafted guard Laken Tomlinson in the first round and added running back Ameer Abdullah in the second round. Continue reading

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Lions All-22: The good and bad from Matthew Stafford in Chicago

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A version of this story was published by the Detroit Free Press.

Matthew Stafford had plenty of great moments and forgettable moments in the Lions’ 20-14 win over the Chicago Bears last Sunday.

The sixth-year quarterback displayed his attributes, both the good and bad in leading his team to yet another fourth quarter comeback victory. He showcased toughness and made plays when his back was against the wall. He also made you scratch your head and ask yourself what he was thinking on multiple occasions. Continue reading

Lions All-22: Stafford, passing game gashes Bears

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A shortened version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press.

On Thanksgiving Day, Matthew Stafford had his finest game in two months in leading the Lions to their best offensive performance since week one.

Stafford posted season highs in completions (34), completion percentage (75.6 percent), and yards (390) as the ice cold Lions’ offense awakened from its season-long slump to score four touchdowns in a satisfying 34-17 win over the hapless Chicago Bears.

The team started poorly (a strip-sack of Stafford set-up the Bears at the Lions’ five-yard line) and Chicago stormed out to a 14-3 lead.

However, the offense responded with a confidence-boosting drive of its own culminating with a beautifully thrown touchdown pass from Stafford to Calvin Johnson. Continue reading

Lions All-22: Stafford struggled early, stepped up late in comeback win

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks to pass the ball during the NFL match between Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on October 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 26: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks to pass the ball during the NFL match between Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on October 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

A shortened version of this article was published by the Detroit Free Press. To view the article in its original format on the Free Press website, click here.

Matthew Stafford’s performance this year has resembled that of a choppy wave and some fans are growing weary of the constant inconsistency of their franchise quarterback. However, Detroit is atop the NFC North heading into their bye week, 3-0 without Calvin Johnson while having burned through four tight ends and three kickers. The NFL is a quarterback league and the position is scrutinized arguably more than any other in professional sports. The quarterback gets too much credit in wins and shoulders too much blame in losses. Ultimately, it’s the wins and losses that matter and this season, Stafford is 6-2. Individually, he’s hasn’t had the season some were hoping for. Among 33 qualifiers, he’s 23rd in the NFL in passer rating and 23rd in completion percentage. He’s thrown 11 touchdowns against seven interceptions, far from his spectacular 41 touchdown, 16 interception showing in 2011. His inconsistency has been maddening at times, yet he’s been able to overcome injures to his top playmakers to lead the Lions to victory. Sunday’s performance was no different. Continue reading

Observations: Lions 22, Falcons 21

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Golden Tate #15 of the Detroit Lions catches a pass during the NFL match between Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on October 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 26: Golden Tate #15 of the Detroit Lions catches a pass during the NFL match between Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on October 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Here’s what I saw during the Lions thrilling comeback victory over the Falcons in London. Continue reading