Detroit Lions were primed to win the NFC North and get a home playoff game this season. Even talking head Skip Bayless thought the Lions could go on the road and beat the Seattle Seahawks if they met in the playoffs.
In true Lions fashion the team imploded over the last six games after a 6-3 start and will struggle to finish .500. Many point the finger at head coach Jim Schwartz. Others point at the statistical nosedive and erratic play of quarterback Matthew Stafford.
At times Stafford looks like he's ready to break into the elite of NFL quarterbacks. Then he has moments like he has over the past five games. He has passed for 28 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. But his interceptions come at the most inopportune moments. Since week 11 Stafford has thrown 12 interceptions and has lost a few fumbles along the way. Stafford's mechanics and sometimes sidearm throwing motion has been questioned and many figure that Stafford should work with a quarterback coach in the offseason (Steve Clarkson, George Whitfield). some say if the Lions fire Schwartz that a quarterback friendly coach could help Stafford. As far as going to a quarterback guru in the offseason Stafford nixed the idea.
"Probably not," Stafford said. "It's not something that I feel would be my style or beneficial to me."
Throwing the ball to the other team isn't beneficial to his game either. I'm not suggesting he's a bust but he needs to get some help to keep him from making dreadful, game changing decisions.
Plenty of NFL quarterbacks -- including Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Nick Foles -- have worked with Clarkson or Whitfield, but Stafford said he's never looked into the possibility.
If the Lions are smart they will hire a head coach or coordinator that can help Stafford before he turns into another Jim Everett. Stafford also would be wise to seek out a little help and to work harder in the offseason.