When Calvin Johnson announced his retirement in the offseason, questions were asked about Matthew Stafford’s ability to maintain the same production after losing his biggest target on offense. Through 14 games this season, Stafford is closing in on his sixth-straight 4,000-yard season passing. Consider those questions answered.
He has some new targets this year such as Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin, and Stafford has seen big contributions from them, Golden Tate, and Eric Ebron to put the Lions in a good position to make the playoffs with two games left. Stafford has been a big part of Detroit’s 9-5 record and several fourth-quarter comebacks this season. Now, Stafford has one more job to finish in the regular season and that’s to take the Lions back to the playoffs.
A trip to the postseason would give the Lions another opportunity to win their first playoff game since January 1992. Their playoff drought is the second longest in the league, only behind the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Dallas native and Highland Park graduate will have his opportunity Monday night when the Lions face the Dallas Cowboys. A win would be enough to punch a ticket in. A loss could potentially loser-goes-home game with the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 depending on how the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fare. The winner of that game would win the NFC North.
AT&T Stadium is also the site where his old high school took down Temple less than two weeks ago to win the 5A Division I state title game. It was the first championship for Highland Park since 2005, when one Matthew Stafford was the quarterback of the Scots.
The Lions still have a lot to play for with two weeks to go, but one thing is abundantly clear. Detroit’s path to the postseason will be determined by the right arm of Matthew Stafford.
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