If coffee is for closers, Matthew Stafford might have to choose a different source of caffeine this morning.
The Lions quarterback, long known for his ability in the fourth quarters of games, hasn’t been nearly as good in those settings of late.
Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Stafford has been credited with 33 game-winning drives, which is sixth among active quarterbacks. But he has 21 since 2014, which is the most over that span.
But in the last two weeks, losses to the Bears and Rams, Stafford has turned the ball over four times in the fourth quarter, and has eight in the final quarter this season.
His coaches were careful to make them a group effort, and any time a team is 4-8 it’s never one guy’s fault.
“I think turnovers are always an offensive team stat,” offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. “There’s 11 guys on the field, there’s a bunch of coaches, bunch of other players. We’re all trying to do our job at the highest level we can do it. I got to coach better in the fourth quarter. We got to do a better job offensively of playing better football.”
It doesn’t help that they traded wide receiver Golden Tate and lost wideout Marvin Jones and running back Kerryon Johnson to injuries, but Stafford himself is making mistakes an a rate unlike his recent past.