On Wednesday at 8p ET, the NFL will release its 2021 schedule. Several networks such as ESPN and the NFL Network will air special programming because of it. Besides the draft, it’s one of the NFL’s most anticipated days before the regular season. Fans across the country will glue their eyes to either their tv, laptop, tablet or mobile device to view the new 17-game layout. However, in Detroit, Lions fans are mainly waiting on the date of one game. And that’s finding out when the Detroit Lions will face Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams.
By now, there are more than likely countless articles floating around online, stating which games are the Lions’ most important games. It’s a thought worth pondering too. After having such an impressive offseason, Detroiters are ready to see the new-look Lions take the field.
Some Lions fans are curious to see how they’ll look against the Chicago Bears. The Lions, to the chagrin of some fans, opted against drafting Ohio State’s Justin Fields. There’s a portion of fans who feel the Lions missed the opportunity to select a franchise quarterback. So there’s a curiosity of how good (or bad) he’ll look. Additionally, fans, in general, want to see how they stack against the rest of the division.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though. Everything else sounds good in theory. Wanting to see how the Lions play in all games is the football purist thing to say, but everyone is ready to get the Stafford game out the way. For 12 years in Detroit, Stafford was the leader of the Detroit Lions.
And they didn’t win a damn thing.
All eyes will now be on him, especially after his remarks once he left. In an interview with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, Stafford said something that could should’ve rubbed Lions’ fans the wrong way.
“I’ve always wanted to play in those big games; I feel like I will excel in those situations,” said Stafford in his interview with Albom.
Well, let’s look at his big moments in Detroit.
Stafford is 0-3 in the postseason and has gone seven consecutive postseason quarters without a touchdown. He’s broke a ton of records, but they didn’t amount to any success at all. Stafford is revered in Detroit mainly for the potential of what he could have done. Now in Los Angeles now, Lions fans will finally witness if Stafford was the problem or if it was the Lions’ front office.
The big question now is: when?
Could it be Week Five? What about Week 16? Or for fun, what if the NFL did the Motor City a favor? What if the league has the Lions face the Rams in Week 1? The possibilities are endless because no one knows the layout yet. Regardless, the entire NFL season matters because the Lions are undergoing a culture shift. Each game they play has great significance.
Nonetheless, singling out a series of games as “most important” is kidding ourselves. In this context, it’s only one game. And that’s the Matthew Stafford game.
In 12 seasons with the Lions, Matthew Stafford threw for 45,109 yards and 282 touchdowns. He ended his Lions’ tenure as the fastest player in NFL history to reach 45,000+ passing yards.