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A rising Stafford lifts all boats.
What a difference a good record makes for national recognition. In yesterday’s Notes, we highlighted a new NFL NextGen stat that praised the dime-throwing ability of Matthew Stafford . A big part of that resurgence is the return of longer-developing plays that attack down the field in offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense:
The Stafford revival is nuts. 56% of his targets are at/past the sticks. He’s never been above 50% and has a career avg of 43%. And he’s currently at 8 yds/att which would be a first. Apparently depth matters
— George Chahrouri (@PFF_George) October 9, 2019
Something to remember is that if the player throwing the ball deserves credit (and he does), so do the players catching the ball. Just as Stafford is generating positive buzz , so are the Lions’ wide receivers. Also in yesterday’s Notes, we had an article from The Lions Wire about how well Detroit’s pass catchers were avoiding drops. It turns out that the wider football world is taking notice of the guys running the routes:
Marvin Jones Jr.? Check
Kenny Golladay? Check
— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) October 9, 2019
An article over at Pro Football Focus published on Wednesday showed both Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay in the list, noting Marvin’s production from the slot and Golladay ’s sure hands. An interesting point to where the two players ranked on the list is that Jones was above Golladay despite Golladay’s target percentage suggesting he is Stafford ’s primary weapon in the passing game.
How good of a value did the Lions get with Kenny Golladay in the third round? ESPN did a re-do of the top-10 picks of the 2017 draft and had Golladay going No. 7 overall.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 10, 2019
Golladay has some amazing air yards numbers and can level opposing linemen , and Marvin generates a ton of yards whenever he touches the ball , but don’t forget the Lions are on track to get back Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson from injury for Monday night. Considering this array of great options to throw to, Bevell’s unit should have a good chance at being the first offense to find success through the air against the Packers defense.
Now let’s move on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Depth in the trenches on defense are a concern heading into “Monday Night Football.” Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press wrote about defensive line rotations the Lions are working with at practice to deal with injuries. Some folks like Tim Twentyman from the official Lions site had notes similar to the one below from Birkett about why a few of the linemen were kept off the field yesterday:
Damon Harrison back at Lions practice today, Da’Shawn Hand gets the day off after his first day of contact since elbow injury. A’Shawn Robinson gets a day off, too, after a heavy practice load. Mike Daniels still out and Quandre Diggs still very limited.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 10, 2019
- Big Play Slay tweeted out on Monday that he was going to choose a high school football game to attend this weekend. Looks like he made his pick , and it’ll be the Port Huron Big Reds versus their crosstown rival Port Huron Northern Huskies.
You’re gonna want to sit on our side
— Northern Football (@PHNFootball) October 11, 2019
- From throwback Thursday, Keegan Michael-Key talking about the head-turning run by Barry Sanders in the last playoff win by the Lions in 1991:
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 11, 2019
Speaking of Barry Sanders, the legendary Lions star had a thing or two to say about current Lions star Matthew Stafford:
- The official Lions twitter account double dipped on throwback Thursday and also posted highlights from the last time the team played on “Monday Night Football: at Green Bay:
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 11, 2019
- From Carlos Monarrez at the Detroit Free Press, running back Kerryon Johnson said it would be huge if he rushes for 1,000 yards this season . Most Lions fans would be stoked about that too, I think.
- The pass interference rule change is less understandable than anyone suspected . Here is former Lions wide receiver Golden Tate apparently not being interfered with on Thursday Night Football :
#NFL officials have gone rogue. 100-percent. This wasn’t called on the field and then wasn’t changed after it was flagged by the #Giants . So they ruled TWICE that this wasn’t defensive pass interference. Which is just blatantly wrong and a purposeful refusal to change the call. pic.twitter.com/BY2rRE6gQc
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) October 11, 2019
- This is very cool:
Former Lions C Dominic Raiola and DT Haloti Ngata among the finalists.
Raiola spent his entire 14-year career in Detroit and ranks fifth in career games played with 219.
Ngata played three seasons with the Lions (2015-17) and was the team’s Walter Payton MOY nominee in 2017. https://t.co/0xYT81aqFj
— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) October 10, 2019