The Lions are 78-107-1 since they drafted Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall in 2009. Stafford, who started 85 of those losses, has played for three head coaches and chances are, with where the Lions are, the quarterback will play for a fourth sometime in the not-too-distant future.
On Sunday, though, the Lions accomplished something they never had in their previous losses with Stafford as their starter: They scored no points. The Lions’ last shutout came Oct. 18, 2009, with Daunte Culpepper as their starting quarterback, when the Packers won 26-0.
The Lions’ 185 yards was the fewest they have had in a game Stafford has finished.
Stafford refused to blame coaching, an easy target considering. Instead, Stafford pointed the finger at himself.
“Obviously, I can play better,” Stafford said, via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News. “I’m the guy that touches the ball on offense every play, so the better I play, the better we’ll play as a team. Just got to be better myself.”
Stafford was asked directly if the game plan was good enough.
“It wasn’t so much the game plan as it was our execution, you know?” Stafford said. “It was both run and pass. We weren’t efficient enough to get them out of it, and it’s every defensive coordinator’s dream to be up 17 late in the game and being able to dial up every fun blitz you can never think of. That part of it is not the part where we won or lost the game. We’ve got to be better early on in that game.”
Stafford’s right thumb injury had him questionable heading into the game, and he was without receivers Kenny Golladay (hip) and Danny Amendola (hip) as well as rookie running back D’Andre Swift (concussion). Golladay, Amendola and Swift have accounted for 79 receptions for 1,024 yards and four touchdowns this season.
In his postgame interview, Stafford went on to claim the Lions are “absolutely” responding to Matt Patricia’s coaching. It’s simple, Stafford said, the Lions just have to execute better.