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Dave Birkett, Shawn Windsor and Carlos Monarrez discuss Lions-Packers on “Monday Night Football.”
Dave Birkett, Shawn Windsor, Carlos Monarrez

Jamie Samuelsen, co-host of the “Jamie and Stoney” present at 6 a.m. weekdays on WXYT-FM (97.1), blogs for freep.com. His opinions don’t essentially mirror these of the Detroit Free Press nor its writers. You can attain him at [email protected] and observe him on Twitter @jamiesamuelsen.

 

Is it honest to name this Monday evening recreation on the Packers an absolute “must-win” for the Lions?

The Lions want this win for any variety of causes.

The math is the obvious. The Vikings are 6-2 and on a bye. The Lions would slip to Three-5 with a loss and even with video games remaining with the Browns, Bears and Ravens, they’d primarily be pressured to complete 7-1 to have any probability of successful the division. The wildcard? That practice left the station weeks in the past with losses to the Falcons, Panthers and Saints. A win would finish the three-game shedding streak and would rebadure a skeptical fan base that this staff nonetheless has some battle left in it.

The Lions additionally want this win as a result of Aaron Rodgers isn’t enjoying for the Packers on Monday evening.

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Too easy? Sorry. Desperate occasions typically name for easy evaluation and that is the straightforward evaluation. Barring harm, the Lions will face the next beginning quarterbacks over the following three weeks. Brett Hundley. DeShone Kizer. Mitchell Trubisky. They observe that up with a date at dwelling towards the good Case Keenum.

The Lions will begin Matthew Stafford.

Football is a staff recreation and the opposite 21 starters should do their half. The offensive line has to dam. It would positive be good to get one thing out of the working recreation. But in the case of the quarterback place, these are mismatches. If you take a look at a pitching match-up earlier than a recreation and see that Justin Verlander is beginning for one staff and Anibal Sanchez is beginning for one more, who’re you going with?

You might imagine that’s a ridiculous instance given the truth that a beginning pitcher has a lot extra management over a recreation and has the power, like Verlander, to have an effect on each single factor that the opposing staff does offensively. Okay. Fair sufficient. A quarterback doesn’t have that very same overreaching management. But on the identical time, he has extra management over the sport than anybody else on the sphere. And when your staff is struggling or your staff is beat up, it falls on the quarterback to exert his will just a little bit greater than regular.

Stafford holds a humorous place on this city. Nobody debates that he’s the best quarterback that the Lions have had since Bobby Layne. But that in itself is a backhanded praise given who we’re evaluating him to. Because he’s the best paid participant within the league, extra is anticipated of him, which is pure. But even essentially the most ardent Stafford critic would have a tough time saying the Lions would someway be higher off if he wasn’t on the roster. He’s by no means had a constant working recreation. He’s by no means had a powerful offensive line. And with the retirement of Calvin Johnson, he doesn’t presently have a deep risk which may lengthen the sphere and open up the offense just a little bit. Jim Bob Cooter has helped Stafford restrict his turnovers. But within the course of, he’s taken away one among Stafford’s biggest strengths — the power to freelance, take probabilities and be a little bit of a gunslinger.

I don’t know what the sport plan is for Monday evening. I do know that the Packers have one of many worst run defenses within the NFL. Hundley can be higher for having a bye week to choose up extra of the offense and to look intently at what the Lions do on offense. The Packers are underdogs at dwelling which must be a fairly good supply of motivation for a staff that isn’t used to shedding to the Lions at Lambeau (unsure should you’re conscious of it, nevertheless it doesn’t occur fairly often). As lengthy as we’re simplifying issues, right here’s my offensive philosophy for the sport — let Matthew be Matthew.

Start the sport performing such as you’re already down a few scores. Take some probabilities. Audible right into a deep move. Hurry to the road of scrimmage. All too typically, the Lions offense begins off like they’re making an attempt to observe the script of what an NFL staff is meant to appear to be versus performing the best way Matthew Stafford is greatest at enjoying. The Lions have a transparent benefit on this recreation — their quarterback. So cease making an attempt to go away from the issues that make him the strongest. It’s nice that Stafford has lower down on his interceptions. It’s not nice that he’s lower down on his touchdowns. I’m prepared to simply accept just a little extra of the unhealthy if it means we will have just a little extra of the great.

I can hear the responses now. Don’t make errors. Don’t give Hundley brief fields. Don’t let the group get into the sport at Lambeau. I suppose that’s the conservative method to successful a divisional street recreation towards an inexperienced quarterback. But conservative isn’t working for the Lions. After a pleasant begin, they’ve reached a crucial juncture of the season and extra of the identical isn’t going to work.

They want this win for the standings. They want this win for the mathematics. More than that, they want this win to show that their quarterback is best than the quarterbacks he’s going to go up towards. It’s time for Jim Caldwell and Jim Bob Cooter to present him the perfect probability to do it.

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