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Stafford hasn't arrived anywhere... yet, Lions lose home opener

Stafford hasn't arrived anywhere... yet, Lions lose home opener
Posted at 10:02 AM, Sep 19, 2016

Guess Matthew Stafford is un-anointed now. 

Just one week after many fans - and sports-radio talkers - proclaimed that Stafford, the Lions' starting quarterback, had arrived and was, indeed, as good as he looked in the season-opening win on the road over the Indianapolis Colts, Stafford once again looked like, errr, the same ole Stafford.

Granted, the Lions' embarrassing 16-15 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Ford Field, in the home opener on Sunday, wasn't all his fault.

However, the game did end with Stafford throwing an interception. Many Lions fans have seen that movie before.
"Obviously, hindsight is 20-20," Stafford said after the game. "I wish I wouldn't have thrown it, but he was guarding somebody else and came off and made the play."

And while the pick sealed the win for the Titans, to be fair, there was plenty of blame to go around in this one. The Lions committed 17 penalties, had a number of drop passes and had a slew of injuries on both offense and defense.

Still, it was a game the Lions could have  - and should have, for the matter - won. It would have given the Lions a 2-0 start and put them on a path of potentially changing the dreadful outcome most - including Vegas - had predicted for them in the 2016 season.

But nope. It was Same Old Lions. SOL. It was Same Old Stafford. SOS.

People hate when Lions' watchers use those terms. But honestly, they fit. It's what the Lions do, it's how they've respond in so many games for so many seasons.

Remember, the Lions looked like a juggernaut against the depleted Colts. The Lions won, 39-35.
And Stafford looked like he wouldn't be stopped offensively this season. He missed few passes, was accurate. Heck, he was downright impressive.

Many projected that Stafford would flourish without the burden of Calvin Johnson in the lineup. Stafford would now be free not to just focus in on Johnson and instead spread the ball around to an array of talented receivers.
It was a beautiful picture suitable for framing. But, it was a mirage.

The notion that the former No.1 overall pick in 2009 had arrived was totally baloney, a knee-jerk reaction to a single great game, not the reality of a quarterback who has mediocre written all over his resume.

So many believed he would wipe the floor up with the Titans, steamroll them out of town as quickly as they arrived.
That was totally false. Stafford - who threw for 260 yards and had one TD and one pick - had to quarterback against a legit a defense, a defense that gave up no touchdowns in the Titans' opener, a defense that limited the Lions to just one TD and just three points at home in the second quarter.

That's right. The Lions led this one 12-3 at the half and 15-3 most of the day. It was their game to lose and they lost it.
Blame Stafford for just having an ordinary day at the office. The Lions needed the anointed QB on this day of penalties and injuries.

Nobody wanted the Lions to give back the win over Indy because they were depleted from injury.
Don't forget. Colts QB Andrew Luck brought them back despite being down 21-3. The Luck's TD with less than 40 seconds left gave the Colts a 35-34 lead.

Stafford helped the Lions setup a game-winning field goal and win the game in the final minute.

There was no magic this Sunday. Stafford, in the end, looked like Stafford we have grown accustom to.

Don't use the excuse of what had transpired for most of the game. Did we mention that the Titans were flagged for 12 penalties and missed a field goal.

None of that mattered to Titans second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota, where drove his team down the field 83 yards. He went 9-for-9 passing on the game-winning drive, including a nine-yard TD pass to Andre Johnson in the back of the end zone on a fourth down play.

It was a thing of beauty, something Titans fans can hope and dream about their quarterback of the future.
Lions fans have seen glimpses from Stafford for sure. It's not like the previous eight years have produced nothing.
Still, Lions fans had hoped by now Stafford would have led the Lions to a postseason win, the franchise's first since 1991 and second since 1957.

And at the very least, many expected Stafford to save their bacon on Sunday, pull out an important win when things went haywire.

It didn't happen. It's because Stafford simply hasn't arrived anywhere - yet. Shame on the masses who thought he had.