Can Eric Bieniemy Save Matthew Stafford's Career?

Read more on whether Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy can save Matthew Stafford's career
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There's no denying the fact that Matthew Stafford has not been the same quarterback that he was a year ago. 

Through 11 games this season, the 12th-year passer has thrown for 18 touchdowns, after throwing for 19 in just eight games last year. 

He's also averaged only 261.5 passing yards per game, after averaging a near career-high 312.4 yards per game through the air a season ago. 

On top of all that, there's this: His passer rating and QBR marks have dropped significantly. 

After recording career-best numbers in both categories last season (a 106.0 passer rating and 74.7 QBR), those numbers have dipped to 92.7 and 61.3, respectively. 

He's also not getting any younger -- he'll be 33 next year -- and he might never be fully healthy again. 

He missed the second half of 2019 with a back injury, and is presently playing through a partially torn ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand.

All signs point to the fact that he's on the downside of his career, and it very well could mean that the next Lions regime will move on from him this offseason. 

However, let's say the head coach-general manager duo that takes over doesn't go in that direction. 

Instead, it keeps Stafford, and allows him to play out the remainder of his contract (which expires at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign). 

If that's the case, who better to get him back on the right track than current Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, one of the top candidates for Detroit's head coaching vacancy.

Bieniemy has served as the Chiefs' offensive play-caller since 2018 -- the same year that Patrick Mahomes became the team's starting quarterback and took the league by storm with 50 passing touchdowns and an MVP trophy to show for it.

Since, Mahomes and the Chiefs have won a Super Bowl, and have continued to put up tons of points.

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In fact, Bieniemy's offense finished in the top five in points scored in both 2018 and 2019, including No. 1 in '18 with 35.3 points per game.

Additionally, so far this year, Kansas City has averaged 31.6 points/game, the second-highest total in the league.

Sure, a lot of this can be chalked up to Mahomes' God-given talent, including a rifle for a right arm and the ability to get outside the pocket and hurl the pigskin down the field for a 70-yard completion at seemingly any given moment.

It also doesn't hurt that Mahomes has an explosive weapon on the outside to throw to like Tyreek Hill, arguably the fastest player in the game today.

But, there's still something to be said about Bieniemy's play-calling ability and aptitude to get the best out of the 25-year-old superstar passer. 

He allows Mahomes to be the very definition of a "gunslinger," dialing up plays that have the Chiefs' signal-caller taking chances down the field and throwing the football on downs and in game situations that are typically run-oriented ones.

In doing so, he doesn't hold back Mahomes one bit, which would be a nice change of pace for Stafford in Detroit.

Now, I'm not saying that Bieniemy would come into Motown and turn Stafford into Mahomes or even save the veteran passer's career. I don't think such would be the case. 

They don't have the same skill set, and to be honest, there's never been a quarterback in the past quite like Mahomes, although Stafford, just like Mahomes, can throw a wicked no-look pass. Just ask Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Despite all that being the case, Bieniemy taking over as Lions head man couldn't hurt No. 9, and he might just be the guy that can make Stafford relevant again. 

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