For the past three years, they have been building on both sides of the ball. Drafting Matthew Stafford #1 overall in 2009 was a huge move. Each time the payoff looked solid, Stafford got hurt, mainly due to a pretty weak offensive line. For two years they've waited and it seems that after the first quarter of the season, they are finally reaping the rewards of a few strong drafts.
Stafford has a lot of targets to hit, mainly Calvin Johnson who already has 8 TDs, 4 shy of his entire 2010 total. Javid Best already has 5 TDs, he's a result of the Lions second 1st round pick of 2010 (Ndamukong Suh was their first at #2 overall), and he also has Brandon Pettigrew (22 catches) who was drafted behind Stafford at #20 in 2009.
They are a talented young group and that's not to say they aren't going to make mistakes, but that was their undoing last season, well that and the injury to Stafford.This year, they have cut down a little (not a lot) on the stupid penalties and they are taking advantage of turnovers.
Here's a look at the hit from Julius Peppers that put Stafford out:
I was a fan of Stafford while he was at the University of Georgia, it was hard not to be. He was hyped like crazy and he was THAT good. So I was pretty pumped when my Cardboard Connection Co-Host Russ Cohen called me up and told me he was sending me a present. It was a pretty awesome one that he won via a social media contest from Panini. The card pictured here is 1 of only 7 in the world.It was made for the 2009 Draft, contains a full NFL logo patch and a beautiful, hard-signed auto from Matt Stafford. What I really like about the card in addition to its rarity is that it is also stamped with a seal authenticating the autograph, something I think would be great on ALL autograph cards.
By now you are probably thinking, man this guy is a Lions fan. The answer to that is yes and no. I root for a few football teams. I grew up on the Jets, like the Raiders and sometimes root for the Da Bears. Like baseball, I like specific players. There is no loyalty from many players to stay on a team, so I think I should enjoy my fan free agency and be comfortable liking whoever and whatever I like. Besides Stafford, I collect Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, LaDainian Tomlinson, 70s Cowboys & Raiders and a few Jets.
Now all I need to do is hope Stafford survives the season and the Lions don't choke. I'm not expecting a Super Bowl win or even an appearance, but ya never know.