Stafford completed 22 of 35 passes for 282 yards in Sunday's win over Oakland. He added six carries for 31 yards and a touchdown. With his team trailing 13-9 early in the fourth quarter, Stafford ran in a five-yard score on a quarterback draw. It was just the third rushing touchdown of the season for Detroit, and the first since Week 3. Overall, Sunday was one of Stafford's cleaner performances of the season as the team got back to pushing the ball down field, completing five passes of 20 or more yards after averaging just three per game coming into Sunday. With bye weeks now over, Stafford has lost his value as a fill-in, but he may be worth keeping around in case the Lions continue their climb out of the abyss.
Stafford competed 24 of 38 passes for 242 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's win over Green Bay. He also recorded a fumble during the contest. Stafford delivered a pair of touchdowns on quick slants in the end zone by Brandon Pettigrew and Lance Moore. The Lions' offense still fails to show the the ability to push the ball down field, the team's lone play of over 20 yards on Sunday coming on a 43-yard catch and run by Golden Tate late in the 4th quarter, but Sunday can be seen as a step in the right direction as Stafford was kept clean after being sacked 13 times in the team's previous two contests. Stafford is likely not worth a pickup unless a team's regular quarterback is on a bye, as turnovers continue to be an issue as he has gone just two games this season without at least one. Stafford also faces a ton of pressure to produce without a bonafide running attack to lean on.
New Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter claims that Stafford has not struggled to absorb Detroit's scheme, the Detroit Free Press reports. Rumors that Stafford couldn't handle former offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's scheme never really rang true as Stafford was being credited for playing some of the most disciplined football of his career in 2014 with Lombardi calling plays. Stafford is on pace to complete the highest percentage of passes in his career, but curiously also set a career high in turnovers while seeing his passing yards reduced for the fourth consecutive season. It seems more likely that Stafford, and the Lions' offense as a whole, is suffering from a rushing attack that is gaining 13 fewer yards than the next poorest running game in the league and pass protectors that are on pace to allow 44 sacks, both of which are unlikely to be hidden by a new playcaller.
Stafford completed 22-of-36 passes for 217 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in Sunday's loss to Kansas City. A change at offensive coordinator didn't do much to help Stafford, as he failed to crack triple digits in passing yards until late in the third quarter. Despite his career success as a deep-ball thrower, Stafford completed just two such passes, both during the Lions' lone touchdown drive, and has averaged just 2.4 such tosses in Detroit's seven losses. Part of that may be time in the pocket as, despite a change at offensive line coach, Detroit surrendered six sacks on Sunday after giving up seven in Week 7. Detroit finding a way for Stafford to get the ball down field following its Week 9 bye will be vital in determining its offensive players' fantasy value for the season's home stretch.
Stafford is unsure how Detroit's offense will change under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, the Detroit Free Press reports. Cooter worked as an assistant under Caldwell in Indianapolis and also spent a year with Peyton Manning in Denver before joing Detroit last year as quarterbacks coach, so his background isn't tied to his predecessor's offense. Still, to Stafford's point, it is hard to envision the Lions' offense changing too radically in a few short days, but there may be more tweaks in store after the Week 9 bye. In the Lions' lone win this season, Stafford completed eight passes of 20 yards or more, over a third of his season total. If Cooter is able to return the cannon-armed Stafford into more of a vertical attack, it could spark a return to the kind of production he put up in past seasons.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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