Show him some of that Peyton Manning powder, Matthew Stafford … it’s been a tough few seasons for Detroit Lions fans.
Peyton Manning would still be king of the league if he hadn’t been concussed. Photograph: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Well, it looks like Stafford might finally be on his way to greatness. This is all thanks to a stadium named after him, which he may not end up using. I know you’ve been wanting to see him perform and you’re patiently waiting for him to play well; don’t put that off any longer. It’s been a tough few seasons for Detroit Lions fans, but the Lions haven’t dropped much deeper in the standings. With Stafford’s celebrity status on the rise, he might get some lucky bounces to get them a win … or two, three or four. If we’re lucky, on Saturday, he might go against one of the NFC’s best quarterbacks. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has been getting some credit for his performance this season, and recently he’s thrown four touchdown passes to no interceptions, which is impressive.
Don’t go rushing down to buy season tickets yet though. I don’t think it’s completely time to jump on board. Stafford has experienced a fair amount of adversity this season: he has thrown three interceptions and just one touchdown, which is not what you want to see in Week 9. However, there’s a reason why the Detroit Lions have only dropped one game in the last six weeks; the Lions defense has been outstanding.
After jumping out to a 2-0 start, Stafford has led the Lions on an 11-game winning streak, and now the Lions sit third in the NFC North. Yes, Stafford is facing a formidable foe in the Arizona Cardinals. He will be competing against a fast offensive team that is averaging more than 23 points per game. Stafford will be in for quite a fight as he has to watch the Cardinals Peyton Manning out on the field. Peyton Manning is first in the NFL in yards per game with 4,251; Stafford currently has accumulated 4,043 yards and is tied for second in touchdown passes with 20. When Stafford lost to the New York Giants in Week 2, he had some scrambling to do as he threw three interceptions. Fortunately for Stafford, his offense scored the most points of the season. Stafford will probably be watching Peyton Manning’s tape this week and know the quarterback’s tendencies. The Lions will look to see how the Cardinals can defend him. The Cardinals have already seen success shutting down their opponents’ passing game this season. Detroit has enough weapons on offense that Stafford could see some success in the red zone. Whether he could put up a good enough number to keep his team in the game. However, I think the Cardinals have the ability to put together a good performance against a struggling Lions team. Stafford has high hopes to topple this Cardinals defense, which has allowed less than 200 yards to opposing quarterbacks in four of their last five games. Stafford and the Lions will need some luck to end the Cardinals’ six-game winning streak. I think Stafford can do that, although it will definitely be a different story against Peyton Manning. Stafford is 10-2 against teams who have played in the Super Bowl. Can Stafford go that number against the defending Super Bowl champions? I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s out of the question.