It’s turning out to be another season of “next season…” for Detroit football fans. Another poor record and relying on their backups while watching their supposed poster boy from Georgia standing on the sidelines with an injured shoulder. How many times can you give a team one of the top five picks in the draft before you should cut them off?
Unlike the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Rams and Raiders, who were all picking very early in the draft earlier this year, the Lions haven’t been able to change much. They’re still winning very few games, still getting routed occasionally and still having trouble with injuries and poor lines on offense and defense.
Matthew Stafford is still have problems with his shoulder, too. These signs didn’t pop up while he was getting considered for the NFL when he was still in Georgia, but for some reason, Stafford has been having problems with his shoulders. Only playing 10 games last season and three so far this season, this could severely impact the strength he was lauded for when he was drafted by Detroit in the first place. This is a lot of reaction to a very small sample size, but if you think about it, the Lions need every player to produce if they want to try and beat the Packers, Bears and Vikings in their fiercely competitive division. They don’t want to keep waiting around more and letting some talented players (Calvin Johnson, Kyle Vanden Bosch) age with no one to help them.
Maybe the Lions are just having bad luck. Chris McCosky of the Detroit News pointed out that despite their 2-7 record, Detroit has a positive point differential of 215-202. No team has ever had such a bad record while outscoring their opponents like that.
Maybe next year will be better. McCosky, in the same article, points out that teams with bad records yet good point differentials find success in their next season. The 1971 Bengals and 2008 Packers both had bad seasons but outscored their opponents, and in their respective next seasons, had much better records. Perhaps all the Lions need to get out of the NFC North basement is to get Stafford healthy for a full season and let their team sprinkled with some solid players get together and finish this stagnant rebuilding session that seems like it has been going on for ages. It’s hard to get to the playoffs with a lot of “maybes,” however.