Should David Blough Become Matthew Stafford's Backup?
The Lions dropped their fifth-straight contest on Thursday to the Bears.
Despite a strong effort until the end, Detroit came up short with an interception thrown by rookie passer David Blough that sealed the deal for Chicago.
It was the only turnover committed by Blough -- Detroit’s third-string quarterback and an undrafted rookie making his career debut on Thanksgiving.
With backup Jeff Driskel out with a hamstring injury and franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford out with a back injury, Blough was all that remained in Matt Patricia’s quarterback room.
Despite low expectations, Blough delivered a performance against a strong Chicago defense that could earn him permanent backup duties whether Driskel is healthy or not.
In three starts, Driskel has thrown for four touchdowns and four interceptions, while taking 11 sacks and throwing for over 200 yards in each contest at a 59 percent clip.
Driskel has also totaled 151 yards on the ground over the three-game span.
In Blough’s lone start, he passed for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on a desperation throw during the final offensive play of the game. He competed 58 percent of his passes.
Although Blough offers nothing as a rusher, he showcased an ability to effectively throw the ball into tight spaces and deep down the field.
In the video below, he shows off his pocket presence -- a trait of his that impressed me the most in his debut.
And here’s some good coverage from the Bears that Blough is able to read well with an accurate toss to the sideline.
Not to mention, his first drive ended with a 75-yard touchdown pass, albeit to a wide open Kenny Golladay.
No, the Lions didn’t win the game, and Blough is far from Stafford and most other NFL starting quarterbacks.
But with four games left, Stafford is likely done for the year and Driskel -- while an exciting rusher -- is clearly a less capable pocket passer than Blough.
Maybe that game was an anomaly for the undrafted rookie, or maybe it was the beginning of his tenure as Detroit’s backup -- with some legitimate upside to work with.
Either way, Blough proved he’s earned a spot as Detroit’s backup for the final four games of the 2019 campaign.
As a player that Detroit landed via swapping seventh-round picks with Cleveland, Blough, at the very least, is a win for general manager Bob Quinn and the Lions' front office.