Matthew Stafford has been playing at an elite level for the Detroit Lions in 2019, but if there’s one thing preventing the quarterback from getting his just due, it’s the team’s record.
Once again, the Lions have been failing to put close games away and come out on top, and Stafford understands that while it’s part of the game, his team needs to start to find a way to get over the hump and close out some big wins in the process.
“A lot of close games. That’s the way this game goes, that’s the way this league is. We got a tough team that battles, man, We got to find ways to win it,” Stafford told the media. “Make a couple plays here or there. Doesn’t have to be at the end of the game, can be in the beginning of the game too to give us a little bit more of a cushion. So I’ve got to do a better job of that too.”
Thus far, the Lions have not put away the close ones, and it’s something which has everyone pondering what must go right in order for the team to get consistent.
Lions Must Limit Turnovers
Mistakes are something which have hurt the team, and Stafford took accountability for being the direct cause of an early fumble against the Raiders which stunted the team’s momentum and thwarted an early scoring opportunity that the team had.
“Momentum killers. Obviously you need all the points you can get on the road against a team that’s going to put up a lot of points. Obviously the fumble hurt us,” Stafford said. “I got to do a better job of making sure that’s secure. Ultimately it’s my job to make sure he gets that ball.”
By limiting mistakes and making sure the team is consistent early in the game, Stafford thinks the Lions could get even better late and not have to fight back. This also might help the team win a few more close games along the way.
While the defense is having problems, Stafford wants the offense to play better and more consistently.
Matthew Stafford Likes Lions Offense
Stafford might be frustrated with the team’s overall ability to put away wins in crunch time, but the one thing the quarterback does like is his offense led by Darrell Bevell.
After this week’s game, Stafford showered praise on Bevell’s game plan for helping to get his big play wideouts open as well as maximize the talent and potential of everyone in the room.
“Our guys are making great plays on the outside. Bev is drawing up some really good plays to get some guys open and we’re hitting them. Kind of using everybody. Marv (Jones) had a big day. Kenny (Golladay) had a big day. (Jared) McKissic had a big one out of the backfield. (T.J.) Hockenson caught a screen for a big play and had a couple other big ones. Just trying to make sure we use everyone to the best of their abilities and I’m trying to spread the ball around.”
Stafford has done just that, and has done so successfully. He’s currently the leading passer in the NFL and has developed a chemistry with not just his big targets, but his moderate targets as well. Arguably, the offense is helping him perform at an extremely high level this season.
By cleaning a few things up on his end, Stafford thinks the Lions could get over the hump and get even better at winning some games.