Ask The Intern: Matt Stafford and SOS

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After The Game In Indy, A Couple Of Questions About Matt Stafford


After watching another fantastic comeback lead by Matt Stafford  and the Detroit Lions last week, they can now focus on the Tennessee Titans for week two. It should be a good game to watch. If you would like to see your questions appear here next week, comment on our Facebook post, tweet me @BKnappBlogs or call in to the podcast. Here are this weeks questions, which focus mainly on Matt Stafford.

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Question 1: What did you think of the leadership that Matt Stafford showed during the final drive?

I absolutely loved it. Stafford has shown leadership before while playing for the Lions, but he has never been seen yelling at teammates for making dumb decisions or telling them to look at him. My love for the quarterback won’t be questioned but one thing he did lack was leadership. Calvin Johnson was that leader on the offense and now with him gone, Stafford has had to take that role and lead this team (to a Superbowl championship).

Before Calvin left, Stafford would maybe say something to a player if things went wrong, or he would sit by himself on the bench and realize he needs to play better. You didn’t see that this week. You saw a quarterback talking to teammates on the sidelines and not sitting by himself. On the final drive you saw he took control of this team and told Eric Ebron “look at me” to show he needed to pay attention. He yelled at Marvin Jones for not going out of bounds to help stop the clock and give Detroit another chance to get closer for a field goal.

Stafford was waving his arms and just being brutal. While he did yell at Jones, he congratulated his catch with a headbutt. He has been the quarterback in Detroit since 2009 and this was the first time we have seen this Matt Stafford and boy, do I hope he stays.

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Question 2: How does the Lions strength of schedule compare to the rest of the division this season?

Looking at the schedules and the SOS (strength of schedule) according to NFL.com, the Green Bay Packers have the easiest schedule in the division followed by the Bears, Lions and Vikings.

Green Bay had to play the Jaguars week one, a victory to start out. Week six they take on the Cowboys who will most likely be without Tony Romo. Week 10 through 12 they will be on the road, but against weak teams in the Titans, Redskins and Eagles. They do play the Texans and Seahawks later in the year, but in Green Bay which will give them an advantage easily.

Chicago has to play against the Eagles next week which should be an easy win, followed by a trip to Dallas where, again, they do not have Romo. Week 12 and 13 they play the Titans and 49ers both at home, meaning the weak teams will have an even tougher time in the cold.

Detroit does start off well in the division as they play at Green Bay week three, so no weather advantage there for the Packers. Then they have a nice three game home streak week 5 through 7 as they play the Eagles, Rams and Redskins. They do though, unlike the Bears and Packers, have to play the Cowboys with Tony Romo possibly at the quarterback position, which will be tougher than before.

Lastly, the Minnesota Vikings have the hardest schedule and part of it has to do with no Teddy Bridgewater this year. Shaun Hill and Sam Bradford will have to help them try and make the playoffs again. While they started off easy with Tennessee, they play the Packers, Panthers, Giants and Texans in the next four weeks, luckily the only away game is in Carolina. Week 11 they have to take on the Cardinals and week 13 they play the Cowboys with Romo possibly back and healthy.

So overall, Detroit does have an easier schedule, but Chicago and Green Bay have it easier. Luckily for Detroit, Chicago is still trying to rebuild, but sadly Green Bay is already a powerhouse. So having the easiest schedule in the division and the NFL according to NFL.com, it will be hard for the Lions to win the division this season.

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Question 3: With Stafford having a solid receiving corps, do you think the run game will digress this season?

While Stafford does have great weapons in Eric Ebron, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Anquan Boldin and Theo Riddick, I think we saw a good balance of the run and the pass last week against the Colts. Detroit was able to create some holes for Abdullah and Riddick, which was nice to see. The offensive line is the key to if Detroit will run the ball. If we can’t create holes for our backs, then expect 50 passes by Stafford a game and maybe 15 to 20 carries from all the backs combined.

Detroit will want to try and be balanced because of the solid receiving corps they have. They know that opponents will expect the pass with so many weapons. With them wanting to cover the pass more, it leads to easier and better holes for the offensive line to create to get the running game going. Detroit couldn’t run at all last year and that won’t be acceptable this year.

Thanks for reading! We will be taking and answering your questions via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and even the Podcast! Don’t forget to follow me and ask me questions on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find and send me questions on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life. Call in to the live post-game show and ask me questions- we will be taking listener calls and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for myfantasysportstalk.com and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.