Lions Doubters: Stay Strong, The Fall is Near

Jake Heilman, Sports Reporter

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Lions fans, let’s go on a journey. Do we all remember the fantastic 2011 season when the roaring Matthew Stafford threw for the most yards in his career to this date? Do we remember when they got off to the hottest start since 1956 at 5-0? The Lions finished second to a future 15-1 Green Bay Packer powerhouse in the NFC north, but still slid into a wild card spot at 10-6 overall. The triumphant Lions rolled into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and proceeded to get throttled by Drew Brees and his high-scoring Saints. Let’s flash forward to present time.

Now, my point is not to trash the Lions after handling the Saints this weekend in New Orleans, but to remind all the people jumping on this roller coaster that the end is near. Sudden and abrupt. Here are the five reasons why the Lions have no chance of moving through the rest of the NFL season on the high seas they are sailing right now.

Matt Stafford IS NOT a playoff quarterback

Back to my example from above, Matt Stafford not only hasn’t led the Lions to the playoffs 4 out of his 6 years at the helm of the offense, but has failed in the two playoff chances that he’s had. Stafford threw for 300+ yards and moved the ball extremely well in 2011 against a banged up Saints defense. Late in the game however, Stafford threw two interceptions and got out scored in the second half 35-14. Then, in 2014, Stafford showed his true ability again, as his offense was outscored 17-3 in a rambunctious Dallas Cowboys home stadium. Granted, crazy things did happen at the end of that football game, but nonetheless… getting outscored 17-3 in a playoff game when you’re a franchise quarterback is unacceptable.

The Lions have absolutely no rushing attack

The most yards a single running back has rushed for in a game this season for the Lions is a solid 70 by Theo Riddick. 70. Not only is that number a ridiculous token to the shambles of a running game the Lions have put together, but the average rushing yards is a  whopping 81.2. The Lions have nothing to complement the passing game of Matthew Stafford. When the Lions finally face a defense that can handle themselves, they will run into an immediate issue regarding the offense.

The Lions have no other offensive weapons either…

These last couple of weeks against mediocre competition, Stafford has had the Tom Brady effect. This is the phenomena in which a great quarterback turns a subpar offense into an excellent one due to his decision making and ability to drive the football. Stafford, however, is not Tom Brady. Golden Tate is a number two wideout at best. Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin are having colorless seasons, putting this offense at a sudden disadvantage versus a lock down crew that the Seattle Seahawks or the New York Giants would bring to the table. The tight end situation is also laughable with Eric Ebron catching only 7 passes, while racking up 10 drops.

The Lions offense isn’t what you think it is

I know there are too many useless stats out there, describing the most ridiculous things in every corner of professional sports, but I think a few key things apply to the Lions this year. Opposing teams offense stacks up with Detroit’s shockingly well. Opposing crews have not only out possessed the Lions, but they have more first downs, more total offensive yards, more averages yards per play, more rushing yards, and more total passing yards. They rank a whopping 18th in points scored a game and a disappointing 15th in passing yards with a “MVP” candidate slinging the ball.

The have faced a pitiful schedule 

Despite this super-tough stretch where the Lions have faced the best teams in the NFL, two times against 18th ranked Minnesota, the 21st ranked Saints and the 29th ranked Jaguars, they have rocky waters coming. Chicago will be another cake walk this week and up to this point that’s what I’d call their schedule. After Chicago, comes the New York Football Giants at MetLife who are 6-1 at home and fighting for the last two wild card spots. Then comes America’s team with the most dynamic rookie duo the NFL has seen in ages. Not only that, but they bring the best record in football to the table at 11-1. Then to cap off the iceberg of terror comes the Green Bay Packers. Not the great team they have been in the past, but let’s be real… this rivalry has produced some unreal games and the Lions are very able to blow a big game at home as they’ve shown in years past.

Don’t worry Lions doubters, you’re in very good and capable hands. The hands of failure.