The hope for supporters of the Detroit Lions was that a returning and healthy Matthew Stafford would aid Detroit in having a rebound season in 2020.
Unfortunately, it appears that Stafford's play -- at least through the first four games -- has regressed since last year.
Detroit will be in a rough spot if Stafford continues to commit unforced errors, continues to take too many sacks and continues to press by throwing interceptions at inopportune times.
On Sunday, with the score 14-14 and with the Saints having regained momentum, Stafford led his team on a second-quarter drive that should have resulted in Detroit retaking the lead.
But, instead, Stafford inexcusably threw off his back foot, and was intercepted by New Orleans defensive back Patrick Robinson, who was making his first start in two years.
No doubt, Stafford's Week 4 performance was his worst of 2020.
He was woefully inaccurate, he appeared to be pressing, throws were being forced to receivers who were not open and he took three sacks.
On several occasions when he was pressured or sacked, Stafford appeared highly agitated and frustrated.
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"Every time we get it, I want to go score. We weren’t able to do that as many times as we needed to today," Stafford said postgame. "It’s an emotional game, a passionate game. I’m trying to make sure I’m out there doing my best every single time. And there’s times, probably if you see frustration, it’s probably for myself. Just wish I could’ve been better today to help us win.”
Lions head coach Matt Patricia will take the brunt of the blame for the woes of the defense.
Stafford deserves equally as much blame for the woes of the offense, however, and for committing mistakes that a veteran of his caliber simply should not make.
Sometimes, it is not the mistake that is made, but when the mistake is made that determines outcomes of games.
Stafford's interception when the score was tied at 14 was critical, as the offense failed to halt the momentum of a Saints team that went on to score 21 more unanswered points.
Had the Lions scored a touchdown or simply a field goal on that drive, the outcome of the game could have been reversed.
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