The Detroit Lions will be without their starting QB when they travel to play Buffalo on Sunday. Matthew Stafford re-injured his throwing shoulder in Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets. The Lions have not publicly commented the seriousness of Stafford’s injury, but speculation is he will be out for awhile and possibly the whole season. Stafford was the first overall pick in the 2009 draft. He only played in 10 games last year due to injuries. He has already missed 5 games this year — that’s 11 out of 24 games – not exactly a good percentage for a player that signed a $42 million signing bonus.
It’s been well chronicled the 1st round draft busts during the Matt Millen era – Joey Harrington, Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, Ernie Sims, etc. Millen left the cupboard bare when he was fired in 2008 with bad drafting in which was the main reason for the 0-16 record in 2008. It’s hard to listen to him last night analyzing the Baltimore – Atlanta game on the NFL Network. Look what he has done to the Lions’ organization and the NFL rewards him with a TV gig – unbelievable. Lions owner William Clay Ford gave him many opportunities to turn things around. When he took over for the Lions after the 2000 season, they were 9-7 and just missed the playoffs. That’s what everyone forgets, the Lions were half way decent even with Hall of Famer Barry Sanders retiring before the 1999 season – and the Lions still made the playoffs after he retired. They sold out the Silverdome after Barry retired. Now the Lions struggle to sell out Ford Field even though it seats less than the Silverdome. But somehow the NFL feels Millen is worthy enough to do analysis work on their exclusive Thursday telecasts.
As for this Sunday’s game, the Lions have the best opportunity to snap their 24 game losing streak. However, the Bills are 0-8, but lost the last three games by a total of 9 points including taking the Ravens to overtime. The Bills do not want the dubious distinction of going 0-16 – just ask any Lions fans. Looking at their schedule, playing the Lions at home gives them the best chance for a win. Backup QB Shaun Hill gets the start although he is still recovering from his Week 6 left forearm injury. Hill was able to move the chains when he was filling in for the 5 games that Stafford missed.
One of the teams will have their embarrassing losing streak snapped on Sunday – yes even if the game ends up in a tie. The Bills-Lions game will be watched only by their respective fans. Oh wait – the game is not a sell-out in Buffalo so it will only be the Lions fans and some Bills fans watching the game. At least we won’t have to listen to Matt Millen.
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Written by Bob Ballard