Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 11/8/14
Every week during the season, we’re debating the biggest talking point from the week before about the Detroit Lions. Lions’ Toss-up, Week 5: After Calvin Johnson couldn’t go, the Lions lost in Green Bay 22-9 and didn’t get much offensive performance at all. Are you concerned about Matthew Stafford’s abilities as a franchise quarterback given his inability to rise above an injury to his top weapon and make his other receivers better? Andrew Tomlinson: I think the exact opposite. I thought Stafford played exceptionally well despite what he had on offense. His numbers weren’t flashy, but with a lack of a running game and no deep threat receiver, I thought he looked really good. His receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball and that is ultimately what the issue was against the Packers. Stafford should have had two touchdowns, too. Don’t forget how Patrick Edwards couldn’t hold onto the ball in the end zone. With Stafford making guys like Kris Durham look serviceable and getting solid contributions out of Kevin Ogletree just days after he joined the organization, it is safe to say he’s the best franchise quarterback the Lions have had in several decades. Max DeMara: The Lions did have five drops against the Packers (tied for a single game high this season), which was an important statistic given the lack of Johnson meant everyone else would have to elevate their game and didn’t. I don’t think the performance in Green Bay itself is the issue for Stafford, but rather, his repeated inability to make his other wide receivers great. Give Tom Brady or Peyton Manning someone with Durham’s size and they would turn him into a name, not merely a serviceable player. Some quarterbacks have a knack for that and others don’t. Stafford is what he is, which is why he will be thought of as a third tier quarterback until he manages to prove otherwise. That isn’t Stafford’s fault, though. He’ll never be a Brady or a Manning in terms of the ability to make other receivers better on his own. Very few quarterbacks are, and the Lions need to understand that. Even with Johnson and Reggie Bush in the fold, Stafford needs more help. Defensively and in the trenches, two typical areas of concern from fans, the Lions are getting to a point where they’re solid enough that they can afford to add options on offense. This offseason, Detroit needs to add another top playmaking wide receiver. We’ve seen how tough things can be without Nate Burleson, but without Johnson, the offense is downright dead. Given his role on the team, Johnson’s going to take hits and may be forced to sit out, no matter how durable he’s been. It’s up to the Lions to be prepared for this and give Stafford at least one better option down field than Edwards, Durham or inconsistent slot receiver Ryan Broyles. That’s the real issue.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eagles players don't share McCoy's views on Chip Kelly

Bryant attends Cowboys OTAs despite not signing contract

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

Adrian Peterson goes on social media rant regarding contract


Report: John Wall, friends kicked off plane in Las Vegas

Broncos OT Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL in practice

Report: Buffalo Sabres to hire Dan Bylsma as head coach

Marc Trestman will make Joe Flacco a Pro Bowler

Could Tyrod Taylor be the Buffalo Bills’ savior?

Chicago Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau after five seasons

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Five NFL players who paid dearly to obtain jersey numbers

Dee Gordon thought Marlins’ manager hire was a joke

Which MLB teams are most changed since Opening Day?

Seattle Mariners: Back to .500

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

McElwain compliments Muschamp culture at UF, previous staff 'snakebit'

Montreal mayor to meet Manfred in hopes of getting a franchise back

Five things we'd like to see on 'Hard Knocks' with the Texans

Chipper Jones challenged military veteran to fight

President Obama answers NBA questions on Twitter

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning for ditching movie

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning

Brandon Marshall, Geno Smith are roommates

The Cavaliers are top (under)dogs

Bryce Harper on his breakout

WATCH: Jon Lester sets MLB hitless record

Six moves that made the Warriors NBA title contenders

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.