Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford Had An Abysmal Regular Season Opener, But His Wide Receivers Didn’t Help Him Out Much Either.
Everyone who watched the Detroit Lions get stomped by the New York Jets on Monday night saw Matthew Stafford play perhaps his worst game as a professional football player. There is no debate there. He never got into a rhythm, had some really bad reads, was poor with his accuracy and ball placement, and just generally didn’t look like himself.
His wide receivers didn’t do a whole lot to help bail him out of his uncharacteristically bad performance.
Almost every one of the Lions key contributors in the passing game dropped at least one pass that should have been caught or was one that fans are used to seeing them catch.
Wide receiver Golden Tate had a pass slip right through his hands. He is one usually of Stafford’s most reliable targets. Tate is known for being one of the most sure-handed receivers in the NFL.
Running back Theo Riddick dropped a short pass that should certainly have been caught, though he appeared upset with Stafford for the ball placement. Riddick is considered among the best receiving threats out of the backfield in the league.
Wide receiver TJ Jones failed to haul in a pass, albeit a tough one, that could have been a big offensive play.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones had chances at two well placed deep balls that fans are used to seeing him come down with, despite the difficulty of the catch. Jones lived on the 50/50 balls last year. That’s his role in the offense. Without the big plays from Jones, this offense was really not that explosive last year.
This game was doomed due to the poor performance of Stafford. I don’t think that better play from the pass catchers would have done a thing to change that, but the poor wide receiver play was grossly overshadowed by the poor quarterback play and it WAS a problem. It just happened to be one of many problems on Monday night.
If this level of play from the wide receivers continues to show up when the Lions get Stafford on a good day, the offense is still going to stall. Drops kill drives, and big plays are what kept the offense rolling last year. If the Lions wide receivers can’t find a way to make plays, they won’t be able to move the ball, even with Stafford on a good day.