Matthew Stafford will have to shoulder the load this season for the Detroit Lions.
If the Detroit Lions are to be successful in 2011, it falls upon Matthew Stafford’s shoulders.
Matthew Stafford will have to be head and shoulders above the rest of the quarterbacks in the NFC Central if the Detroit Lions are to be successful.
OK, I think that’s enough shoulder references. You get the point.
Detroit’s re-emergence as a legitimate American city probably has more to do with Matthew Stafford than it does with any initiative Mayor Dave Bing can offer.
Motor City citizens will have more spring in their step this fall if the Detroit Lions are successful than they would if they were offered cheap housing. Whether or not the team makes the leap to a contender status comes down to how well Stafford plays.
Or, if the last two years are any indication, if he plays.
It’s not a coincidence that faith in the Lions is at an all-time high just as Stafford prepares to enter the fabled Year Three of his career. The third year of a pro quarterback’s career is, according to NFL experts, the year when a quarterback either gets it, or makes it clear he’s not ready for primetime.
From what we’ve seen of Stafford in his limited time, he gets it. That’s what makes Lions fans giddy. They know that if he puts together a healthy season, the Lions, while maybe not Super Bowl contenders, are surely an intriguing choice to make the playoffs. And if this team makes the playoffs, the city will likely implode.
The city of Detroit will always have its citizens, but if the Lions fail to meet expectations, Ford Field might become a ghost town.
It's up to Stafford to play with a chip on his shoulder.
(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)