Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are falling into a bad habit. In the first two games of the season the offense has come out flat and they haven’t found their rhythm until late in the game. In week one, the team was able to overcome a slow start thanks to a game-winning drive engineered by their Pro Bowl quarterback. However, against the top teams in the NFL that won’t work and the Lions found that out Sunday night against the 49ers. If the Lions are going to take the next step and get to the playoffs for the second year in a row, Matthew Stafford and his offense need to get off to quicker starts. They will also have to show that they can beat playoff teams from the NFC.
Matthew Stafford joined WXYT in Detroit with Valenti and Foster to talk about the game plan against the 49ers on Sunday night, what happened with the interception that seemed to have come out of his hands weird, whether he wishes he would’ve thrown the ball downfield more than they did, how much Mikel LeShoure will help the running game and if he feels the next step that the Lions have to make it to beat a playoff team from the NFC.
On the Lions game plan against the 49ers Sunday night:
“I thought it was a great game plan but we just didn’t execute when we got inside the 30. We moved the ball well pretty much all night. They played two-high the entire game. There wasn’t one snap of really true single-high cover one so you have to be able to run the ball against that and we were effective in the second half doing that but we moved the ball well. When we got past the 50 we stalled on some drives. That’s the difference in a game like that. You make one of those field goals a touchdown then the game is totally different.”
What happened with his interception that seemed to have come out of his hands weird:
“I was trying to pull it back, it was a little too late and it just kind of squirted out of there and the guy made a good play on it. I was trying to pull it down, it just didn’t come back for me.”
If he thinks the team should’ve tried to get the ball down the field a little more:
“Not really. I had two down there. One early in the game to Titus (Young) got hung up in the wind a little bit but we got the PI call and another one, he didn’t see me throw it and that play could’ve been a touchdown, the post I threw that landed in the end zone and he was kind of looking around like he didn’t know I threw it. Calvin (Johnson) was getting man underneath, a safety on top and a safety in the middle of the field so they were really kind of committing three to one guy and playing good man coverage on the rest of the guys too. We were trying to find ways to get Calvin the ball on some crossing routes and things like that and just didn’t execute well enough when we really needed to.”
How much he thinks having Mikel LeShourse will help the running game:
“We have very limited tape on him but he’s a talented kid, I’m excited for him, happy that he is back and we will see. I think he’s expecting big things out of himself and I know he wants to be out there with us so it will be a good thing for him to be back out.”
Whether he thinks a guy like Chris Johnson calling out his teammates in the media is a good idea:
“I’ve never been a part of a team that has done that so I can’t really comment on it but I think for the most part things that need to be said can be handled without media being involved but I don’t know everybody’s situation. Chris’s situation might have been different.”
If he thinks the next step for Lions is beating a playoff team from the NFC:
“I think the next step is Tennessee and trying to get a win there. That’s a road game for us, we play a lot of games on the road early on this season and we have to keep battling. To tell you the truth we are worried about the next game on our schedule, nothing else.”
On the Titans:
“They’re a talented young team, they’re a talented young defense, they have some good players at the back end, a couple of guys that can rush the passer so we will have our work cut out for us. This is a team that is going back home and has the potential to really go off. They have skill position guys on offense that are among the best in the NFL at their position so we have our work cut out for us.”