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Stafford is suddenly struggling in the fourth quarter

Stafford Getty Images

As the fourth quarter of the season unfolds, a franchise quarterback seems to be having a lot of trouble in the fourth quarter of games.

According to Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has a passer rating of 30.2 in the fourth quarter of the last four games.  The only win in those four games came against the Packers, during a Thanksgiving contest that was no longer in doubt by the time the final 15 minutes commenced.

While other failures have contributed to the team’s inability to win more than seven of 13 games, the franchise quarterback needs to step up when the game is on the line.  Stafford, in recent weeks, hasn’t.

As a result, the Lions are now in danger of blowing the NFC North crown.  They’ll get their next chance to push toward the team’s first division title in 20 years on Monday night, when they welcome to town the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco.  Per Twentyman, Flacco has a passer rating of 85.3 in the fourth quarter of the last four games.

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37 Responses to “Stafford is suddenly struggling in the fourth quarter”
  1. redandgoldhitman52 says: Dec 10, 2013 2:08 PM

    pretender

  2. thepftpoet says: Dec 10, 2013 2:13 PM

    If it wasn’t for the Minnesota Vikings, the NFC north would be the worst division in football

  3. jazsrt says: Dec 10, 2013 2:13 PM

    Get this kid (and team) a real coach and they will be a perennial contender.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 10, 2013 2:24 PM

    Stafford has struggled since he was drafted. He is on an island by himself and he has no idea what to do.

  5. swaggyy says: Dec 10, 2013 2:31 PM

    Has anyone seen Stafford’s record against winning teams? I don’t have it on me but man it sure is awful. Stat paddford

  6. ziggystheansah says: Dec 10, 2013 2:37 PM

    Sorry but i’m going to disagree. Stare at a statistic all you want but the real problem is idiot Schwartz. Has stafford struggled in the 4th quarter? Absolutly. But to blame ONLY stafford is a joke. Our team as a whole collapses in the 4th. Look at Pittsburgh, tb, phi game. Notice something common in all of those losses? We collapsed in the 4th. Our Defense more than our offense. Look at phillys game. Our Defense couldn’t literally stop LESEAN MCCOY BETWEEN THE TACKLES! Heck, Foles was even running for big gains. We made chris polk look like Barry Sanders. We entered last A

    Sometimes it’s out’ve staffords hands as well- ie the Last play in the TB game, stafford threw a strike to calvin but calvin dropped it into a DB’s hand.
    Back to Schwartz. We’d be a game ahead of Chi had we not fooled around and took our points vs pit.

  7. ravenswhat says: Dec 10, 2013 2:41 PM

    Stafford has never won a big game and commands top $..yet nobody complains. Meanwhile Flacco is a SB MVP and has a better playoff record than Peyton yet all you hear about are people complaining about his salary.

    Funny how that works.

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 10, 2013 2:45 PM

    ziggystheansah:

    Schnazzy name, I like anything with “Ziggy” in it. You have Ziggy from Quantum Leap, and this hot new pass rusher, and now you who has acutely identified some Lions problems. I’ve never met a a Ziggy I didn’t like yet, 3 for 3 so far! Ansah’s nickname should be the Quantum Sacker!

    And yes you are right the Lions have a lot of problems. Stafford and Schwartz are both doing things that don’t help the Lions win. But this article is just focused on Stafford as an individual player rather than analyzing the team as a whole. You will not find another person on this planet that despised the Lions more for drafting Stafford from the moment his name was called. Yet despite all that I still recognize Stafford’s talent. There’s virtually nobody that has a more impressive raw arm talent than he, and he could have indeed been developed into a good QB if the coaching was there for him.

    To me this is VERY similar to what we see going on in places like Washington. RGIII is dealing with the same issues and handicaps that Stafford is, so that’s affecting Matthew’s chances of being able to use the strength of his skills in a more effective way that can help the Lions win. So even despite not liking having Stafford, I’m even more disappointed that they haven’t developed him properly to make the most out of him as long as he’s going to be our QB.

  9. hyzers says: Dec 10, 2013 2:51 PM

    I’d rather have Stafford and his contract than Flacco and his. Ravens fans may disagree.

  10. purpleguy says: Dec 10, 2013 2:55 PM

    I don’t get it — is he forgetting to just chuck it up to megatron in the 4th quarter?

  11. cincyalldaway says: Dec 10, 2013 3:05 PM

    Flacco has a passer rating of 85.3 in the fourth quarter of the last three games…………………

    The problem is he’s got a passer rating of 2.5 in the first three. Most overpaid and inconsistant chump in all of football…and it’s showing! Plus he has the really bad 70’s porn mustache. He’s really a pretty creepy guy!

  12. zenofobe says: Dec 10, 2013 3:10 PM

    Stafford is not the problem. The scheme and coaches are.

    The Lions don’t appear to play situational football. They are stuck in their schemes come hell or high water, and pay the price most weeks. That’s on the coaches.

    How else to explain a team that scores 27 points in one quarter, and none in the other 3 (Pitt)? Or allows giant gains up the middle (Philly) and makes no adjustment? Or lets a rookie QB torch them over and over (TB)?

    It’s sickening to watch this talented roster being wasted at the hands of coaches who’ve done very little in the NFL and are in over their heads.

  13. edreedisgod says: Dec 10, 2013 3:10 PM

    @ hyzers

    Give Flacco Megatron, 60 passes a game, the weak NFC north, and at least 4 games in a Dome (MIN and DET) and he will have padded stats too. Everyone calls Flacco Jump ball Joe but when Stafford throws jump balls to Megatron its a good pass…. Laughable!

  14. gmenfan1988 says: Dec 10, 2013 3:13 PM

    Unlike Stafford Flacco led his team to superbowl
    the ravens have been a consitant playoff team for the last 5 years but people only point out what they want to

    I’m a giants fan and i would rather have Flacco and his contract over Stafford who has done nothing

    Yes football is the ultimate team game but any fan who watches football can see that Flacco put his team on his back, just look at last years playoff run and the years before that.

    People are just gona hate b/c their team couldnt make it to the big game

  15. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 10, 2013 3:16 PM

    Are you talking about the quarterback of the 7-6 division leading Lions?
    I thought so.

  16. Stupid Lions Fan says: Dec 10, 2013 3:18 PM

    The only thing that changes for the Lions in the 4th quarter is we usually have a lead and then the coaches freeze up. Forget everything that got us to the 4th quarter lead and then we lose. Stafford is a by-product of that but this kid is very special.

  17. haterade999 says: Dec 10, 2013 3:23 PM

    ravenswhat says:
    Dec 10, 2013 2:41 PM
    Stafford has never won a big game and commands top $..yet nobody complains. Meanwhile Flacco is a SB MVP and has a better playoff record than Peyton yet all you hear about are people complaining about his salary.

    _________________________

    That’s because winning breeds jealousy.

    Raven haters are butthurt. Plain and simple. One of the best front offices in the league, 2 SB in 18 years and one of the most clutch QBs in the NFL.

    Not to mention, plenty of room to grow. Hate on.

  18. haterade999 says: Dec 10, 2013 3:25 PM

    hyzers says:
    Dec 10, 2013 2:51 PM
    I’d rather have Stafford and his contract than Flacco and his. Ravens fans may disagree.

    __________________

    Yeah that Lombardi would make us disagree.

    Good luck in the Super Bo– oh, right.

  19. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 10, 2013 3:35 PM

    zenofobe:

    Ford is the problem, because he continues to believe in Mayhew, it’s just that simple.

    If Mayhew was good, we could have made Stafford better as well as Schwartz to appear to be better. But he has been a horrible and abysmal GM, and he can’t get anything right in regards to any facet of his job that a GM needs to be strategic about.

    A GM who is a total failure = dead ducks on the field

  20. thetruthcampaign says: Dec 10, 2013 3:40 PM

    Calvin Johnson. Plus, don’t use shotgun in a blizzard!!!

  21. rajbais says: Dec 10, 2013 3:50 PM

    NFC Championship bound????

    Only if it’s pink and looks like a slip.

  22. foofooface says: Dec 10, 2013 3:53 PM

    I actually think Mayhew and Xanders are doing a great job, the talent theyve assembled is prob the best the team has ever had in its history…
    its all on Schwartz. What would this team be like if they had one of the Harbaughs? a Gruden? Bellichik?
    Yearly Superbowl contenders, thats what!

    If by chance the Lions make the playoffs its gonna be one and done. Change the head coach and Detroit has a chance to make a legacy, Calvin isnt getting any younger, they need to take advantage of the talent they have NOW!!!!

  23. wishingtonredslur says: Dec 10, 2013 5:20 PM

    Every Ravens fan I know hates Flacco and this year they’re starting to turn on Rat Rice too, course he has been running like a background character in “The Walking Dead.” We got biters, we got walkers but I don’t see the runners. Lol a buddy of mine said he hoped to be a mortician during a zombie apocalypse so he could tie everyone’s shoelaces together. Funny.

  24. wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 10, 2013 6:00 PM

    How the hell is a General Manager supposed to make a QB better?

    Mayhew is not the problem. A General Manager signs and drafts talent. No legitimate argument can be made that this team lacks talent.

  25. haterade999 says: Dec 10, 2013 6:06 PM

    wishingtonredslur says:
    Dec 10, 2013 5:20 PM
    Every Ravens fan I know hates Flacco and this year they’re starting to turn on Rat Rice too, course he has been running like a background character in “The Walking Dead.” We got biters, we got walkers but I don’t see the runners. Lol a buddy of mine said he hoped to be a mortician during a zombie apocalypse so he could tie everyone’s shoelaces together. Funny.

    ______________________

    Yeah we hate winning. It’s so awful.

    Please, tell us more about what you don’t know.

  26. greenisgold1265 says: Dec 10, 2013 6:12 PM

    That final play against the cowboys was ok in the 4th…

  27. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 10, 2013 6:28 PM

    wisconsinhillfolk:

    If we have a lot of talent, then wouldn’t you say the GM didn’t do a good job in selecting coaches? How would you be able to maintain that Mayhew has done a good job, on what basis?

    A GM can do a lot of things to make a QB better. That’s my personal philosophy. I think an NFL team is essentially as good as it’s GM, for there are things that you cannot control and things you can. A good GM maximizes benefits to the team in the things that can be willfully controlled. It is MY opinion that an NFL team should prioritize GMs who are master strategists and in particular know how to develop QBs or select coaches and styles of coaching that are effective to develop QBs, as well as other players, but QB is the focus for me. That’s the most important foundation of a team from a single player-position standpoint.

    So to me a GM needs to know how to mentor and advise and coach and train the physical and mental aspects of the game. He has to be able to teach the prospect how to get better if he doesn’t have a separate positional coach to do just that. But the GM should be qualified to do that on his own if he can’t find a coach to do it well or has to do it for the coach to make sure it is done the right way. And then there’s countless things that are part of the GM’s job that can indirectly support a QB and help them along the way. There’s a dozen things I could delve into.

    But it’s all about starting with logic and sound thinking and making sure that you carefully develop a QB and I think a GM should have a close and intimate understanding and relationship with the players such that they are being shrewd and responsible in helping them to mature and maximize their potential.

  28. ivanpavlov0000 says: Dec 11, 2013 4:36 AM

    The Lions were gassed in the 4th quarter against Philly, especially the defense. That was the story of that game. Detroit’s offense and defense both stunk it up in the 4th quarter. It wasn’t on Stafford, it was on everyone but their kick return team.

  29. annodomini90 says: Dec 11, 2013 8:52 AM

    Mayhew, Schwartz, Gunther & Linehan all came in, in ’09. They’re all gonna go through the same 80 games together.

    However Mayhew is by far the best of the lot. Considering what he has done since that ’08 roster is a bloody miracle. Regardless of your issues, a franchise QB, bring in a franchise RB. Fixing up the D-Line, LB & Safety (CB’s aren’t good) issues this team had after ’08 is pretty impressive to me.

    Despite all that, when the Lions got Xanders, Mayhew clearly looked to be under the pump. Then he pulls out the best draft he’s had since his time here. A home-run on the first rounder, an eventual shut down CB for his 2nd pick. One of the best LG’s in the NFL with his third pick. That’s without even mentioning getting Fauria or picking up Ross from the trash heap.

    I mean, what more does he need to do to prove how good he is?

    If you want to know what a GM does (cause based on your belief they should be teaching the QB (lolwut) you don’t seem to have much idea), watch Matt Millen, yes, Matt Millen’s NFL documentary. He explains what he thought he was getting into and what, in actual fact, he was doing. Absolutely none of it was related to doing hands on work with players. That’s what all the coaches are for.

    Mayhew was a DB, too. How much would he REALLY know about creating an elite-level QB?

    Come on, man.

  30. thetruthcampaign says: Dec 11, 2013 9:42 AM

    I think it’s curse. It snows 8 inches, and all of a sudden our 3rd ranked run D can’t stop the run. Our best players can’t hold onto the ball. None of them. Our secondary is just bad most of the time. Our QB is having troubles other times. Other times it’s the schemes or it’s the return game sucking or the punting or the kickoffs or the field goals or Raoila at center or penalties or turnovers.

    It’s not all those things combined every game. It’s one or some of those things. The turnovers have been pretty regular. Man, it’s a lot of things.

  31. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 11, 2013 11:49 AM

    annodomini90:

    Look, to me a GM’s job is to win football games, and I don’t care how he does it. Everybody has their own way and their own strengths and weaknesses. Mayhew has failed and lost in a miserable way according to the W-L record in comparison to what I think our W-L record should be. I’m seeing a massive gap there.

    IF Mayhew has no idea how to work with QBs or build them, then that’s ok if he can hire people to do that for him, but he made poor choices in that regard, and Stafford never got real coaching or good coaching or any support or mental help or technical help or help of a large variety of kinds that clearly seem to be missing from watching things very closely as I have since I follow this team on a daily basis and have been for years.

    I have strengths at understanding the QB position and how to work with QBs, so it makes sense to me for the GM to be more proactive there in working with the players, but that’s just me and my style. If a GM never SPOKE to a player, then that’s ok so long as he can design a team of coaches that make it pointless for him to directly work with the players.

    Bottom line though is that W-L record and the setup chances of winning a SB, and Mayhew hasn’t done good at either of those things, and I find it deplorable and unacceptable.

    We SHOULD be 13-0 or 12-1 at the WORST right now. Based on ALL the years of failure and advantages we were blessed with to turn things around. We have NO BUSINESS losing any of these games except for maybe the Eagles game, which was the only legitimate competition they have received ALL season long.

  32. wishingtonredslur says: Dec 11, 2013 12:37 PM

    K. Every Ravens fan I know but some random DB on a website hates Joe Flacco and they’re also starting to turn on Ray Rice. In this case I also know DB isn’t short for defensive back. If you hate winning then this must be your best season. Moron.

  33. thetruthcampaign says: Dec 11, 2013 9:07 PM

    I’m not worried about Flacco or Rice one bit. I’m worried about the Lions.

  34. anonymousraven1 says: Dec 12, 2013 12:43 PM

    If every Ravens fan you know hates Flacco, then you must pride yourself on hanging out with unintelligent company

  35. anonymousraven1 says: Dec 12, 2013 12:50 PM

    Flacco is who he is at this point:
    1) He tries to force too many throws early in games.
    2) He doesn’t trust his receivers to get open.
    3) He has good mobility that he doesn’t use often enough.
    4) He too often does not sense pressure from the blindside.
    5) All in all, you will never start him as your fantasy QB.

    However …
    6) His 4th quarter and clutch numbers are some of the best in the NFL.
    7) He has the best record ever of a QB in his first 6 years.
    8) He’s won as many playoff games as Peyton Manning in his career.
    9) He brought a Lombardi to Baltimore with the second-best postseason QB performance ever.
    10) When the game is on the line, Flacco brings you wins way more often than losses.

    He’s not Rodgers, Brees, Brady, or Manning. But, those guys are Hall of Famers. After that though … well I’ll keep Matt Stafford as my fantasy QB, but am really dang happy Joe Flacco, not Matt Stafford, is the Ravens’ QB.

  36. anonymousraven1 says: Dec 12, 2013 12:50 PM

    Also, I have no idea why a smiley face showed up in that post, but whatever.

  37. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 12, 2013 5:48 PM

    anonymousraven1:

    It must have been from the number 8 and the ).

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