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 Stafford makes top 100 players 
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Instead of just posting our thoughts, let's take a look at what actually happened. The play starts, and pass protection breaks down:
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Then Stafford backpedals (he didn't roll out into pressure) and does throw off his back foot:
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I have no problem with the throw. Yes, CJ was double covered, but he did what he always does and got separation. Yes, Stafford threw it up, but the reality is that when the ball arrived, CJ was open and the ball hit him in the hands:
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Calvin catches it:
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Then is hit by one guy and fumbles:
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TB recovers, game over. What part of that was Stafford's fault? I'll give you throwing off balance, but putting a ball up to CJ when he consistently goes up and gets it, even in double & triple coverage, isn't a bad play. In this case, it actually worked out right up until CJ fumbled. CJ got separation, got both hands on the ball cleanly without being hit, then fumbled after the catch. That's on CJ, not Stafford.

I'll say all this as a guy who thinks Stafford shoulders most of the blame for last season. If he played even average during the big moments, the Lions would have made the playoffs. So don't paint me as a Stafford apologist or anything. I'm not. I'm just pointing out that this example was not one where Stafford was the problem. The other INTs in this game are largely on him though, so you can still pin this loss (in major part) on him.

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July 18th, 2014, 5:49 am
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
I agree you can't put that last play on him(plenty else to in that game), because Calvin did end up catching it and lost it. But...that play still does kind of speak to the issues with Stafford. The backfoot was an issue, because it forced Calvin to come back to the ball, that may not be a major issue, but it's still a risky throw. My other issue is you can see in the first 2 pictures, Bell is wide open running across the middle. And I'm pretty sure I remember someone posting a pic after that game from the all-22 that showed a ton of open field in front of him, too. Stafford dumps that ball off to Bell, good chance of a 1st down with time to stop the clock, at worst a chance to tie the game with a reasonable distance FG.

Calvin catches that ball, so it's hard to kill Stafford for that play, but it was the high risk play. That's part of what makes Stafford great QB at times, but more often what makes him a frustrating QB. He's always going to be a guy that takes risks, especially with his arm and a weapon like Calvin, but he needs to find a way to measure it.


July 18th, 2014, 3:00 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Interesting points dr1249, however a couple of observations from a situational perspective that I took away from the photos.

First, lets recap it is 3rd and 12 with the LOS being the 28, Lions down 3 at home with a minute to play.

1) obviously you don't want to throw a pick but the main thing you worry about here is taking a sack and being knocked out of FG range
2) Bell is open but look at the Tampa defender 2 yards from Staff disengaging from Rieff's block
3) without time to go through all his progressions (2 seconds after the snap) at this point Staff see CJ (1st or 2nd read likely on the play) downfield and releases the ball

I'd have to watch this play again, but I don't think Staff had time to step into his throw. Dom was beaten quickly and is on his knees, look at all the Buc defenders (4) on the wrong side of the blockers.

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July 18th, 2014, 4:55 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Reality apparently isn't a part of this debate. Should the cornerback have caught the pass the safety knocked loose from CJ? Yes, it is what he is paid to do. Should the safety have knocked the pass loose from CJ? Yes, is it what he is paid to do. Should CJ have caught that pass? Yes, it is what he is paid to do. Should that pass have been thrown? No, Stafford is paid to avoid such situations when he has a viable alternative and he had one totally uncovered. Stafford created the situation that led to the pick. This is what you ignore.

It doesn't matter that you think CJ should have caught it because Stafford never should have thrown it in the first place. I said Stafford rolled out because the end zone shot of the pass should him moving to his left on the throw. Even in the photo you have you can see he moved left. While this does play a part in the evaluation of the play it is mostly the decision to throw the ball to Calvin and the manner in which he was willing to throw it that is the issue. It is this kind of decision making causing me to say Stafford is not a good quarterback.

First and foremost, quarterbacks manage the offense. Unfortunately, Stafford was never held accountable for doing this. He was allowed to get by on his talent and that of CJ. A great many of the yards that so many use as 'proof' of Stafford's greatness are a result of Calvin making a great catch that few other receivers would have made. Often they were poor throws that Stafford fans explained away as "being thrown where only CJ could catch it." Yes, some were deliberately thrown high for CJ, but not nearly as many as fans like to think. The point is, that Stafford has gotten away with it so much fans ignore the mistake he makes when it doesn't work out.

It is 3rd and 12 with nearly a minute left to play at the opponent's 28 yard line. What top quarterback in the League makes the throw Stafford attempts rather than using the safety valve receiver that is totally uncovered? This is what has happened too often with Stafford; too much reliance on the arm, not enough on the gray matter. This is why I laughed when Mayhew stated Stafford was great in 2011. He has great talent and he had great numbers that year, but he wasn't great. Actually, he has remained pretty consistently inconsistent. He is a streaky player.


July 18th, 2014, 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Pablo wrote:
Interesting points dr1249, however a couple of observations from a situational perspective that I took away from the photos.

First, lets recap it is 3rd and 12 with the LOS being the 28, Lions down 3 at home with a minute to play.

1) obviously you don't want to throw a pick but the main thing you worry about here is taking a sack and being knocked out of FG range
2) Bell is open but look at the Tampa defender 2 yards from Staff disengaging from Rieff's block
3) without time to go through all his progressions (2 seconds after the snap) at this point Staff see CJ (1st or 2nd read likely on the play) downfield and releases the ball

I'd have to watch this play again, but I don't think Staff had time to step into his throw. Dom was beaten quickly and is on his knees, look at all the Buc defenders (4) on the wrong side of the blockers.


All valid points.

The issue with throwing off his back foot is that it's hard to give him the benefit of the doubt because it's such a constant issue. How much time did he have? Could he have side-stepped the pressure or made a small step up in pocket? Then there's the point that if you have to throw it downfield off your back foot, maybe you shouldn't throw it.

As for the Bell, he doesn't need to go throw his progressions for that. He knows Bell has the underneath cross and a QB should be seeing the field. Especially when one of those guys runs right across your sightline with a ton of green in front of him. It's one of the issues though, he locked on to Calvin and was going there. I get it that Calvin is a freak, but like I said before, you still have to measure risks.


July 19th, 2014, 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Jafo wrote:
Reality apparently isn't a part of this debate. Should the cornerback have caught the pass the safety knocked loose from CJ? Yes, it is what he is paid to do. Should the safety have knocked the pass loose from CJ? Yes, is it what he is paid to do. Should CJ have caught that pass? Yes, it is what he is paid to do. Should that pass have been thrown? No, Stafford is paid to avoid such situations when he has a viable alternative and he had one totally uncovered. Stafford created the situation that led to the pick. This is what you ignore.

It doesn't matter that you think CJ should have caught it because Stafford never should have thrown it in the first place. I said Stafford rolled out because the end zone shot of the pass should him moving to his left on the throw. Even in the photo you have you can see he moved left. While this does play a part in the evaluation of the play it is mostly the decision to throw the ball to Calvin and the manner in which he was willing to throw it that is the issue. It is this kind of decision making causing me to say Stafford is not a good quarterback.

First and foremost, quarterbacks manage the offense. Unfortunately, Stafford was never held accountable for doing this. He was allowed to get by on his talent and that of CJ. A great many of the yards that so many use as 'proof' of Stafford's greatness are a result of Calvin making a great catch that few other receivers would have made. Often they were poor throws that Stafford fans explained away as "being thrown where only CJ could catch it." Yes, some were deliberately thrown high for CJ, but not nearly as many as fans like to think. The point is, that Stafford has gotten away with it so much fans ignore the mistake he makes when it doesn't work out.

It is 3rd and 12 with nearly a minute left to play at the opponent's 28 yard line. What top quarterback in the League makes the throw Stafford attempts rather than using the safety valve receiver that is totally uncovered? This is what has happened too often with Stafford; too much reliance on the arm, not enough on the gray matter. This is why I laughed when Mayhew stated Stafford was great in 2011. He has great talent and he had great numbers that year, but he wasn't great. Actually, he has remained pretty consistently inconsistent. He is a streaky player.


Seriously? Are you nuts? That throw at the end of the game that hit the receiver in the hands, in the clutch, that he caught, was a mistake by the qb?

Really?

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July 19th, 2014, 3:16 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Very serious. This was a desperation throw on 3rd and 12 with nearly a minute left when you are already in position to kick a game tying field goal. Are you seriously defending this?

Harrington throws a pass, on 4th down with time running out, with a guy in his face, on target to an open Roy Williams who flat out drops the ball even though he had two hands on the ball. Mariucci blames Harrington because the ball wasn't just so (chest high). Fans piled on Harrington, not because he did wrong, but because they didn't like him. Yet, Harrington did his job, it was Roy who failed. In the case of the Tampa game on the Lions' last play, Stafford did not do his job, instead he lofted a desperation pass even though he had downs and time left and was already in position to tie the game. Yet, you want to focus on CJ's 'failure' to secure the ball within a few tenths of a second. Even though this is about Stafford's poor choices/throws, in particular regarding his picks. Why? Because you like Stafford. Take off the jersey, put away the bobble head, erase the name and simply focus on the performance of the job.

Once again, a quarterback's main job is to manage the offense. Through his decision making he is expected to put his teammates in the best position to succeed and only when nothing else is available is he expected to make a play out of nothing. Stafford had four options on the play we are debating.

1) He could heave a desperation pass downfield off his back foot.
2) He could dumped the ball off to his wide open safety valve.
3) He could scrambled out of the 'pocket' so he could throw the ball away.
4) He could run with it.

Remember, it is 3rd and 12 at the 28 yard line, you are within field goal range and you have 58 seconds on the clock at the snap. Yep, you're right, this is all CJ's fault.

This kind of decision making by Stafford isn't a fluke occurrence, but systemic. If there is one thing I can agree with Mayhew on it is that Stafford has not been developing the way he should. Rather than being a seasoned veteran quarterback after five seasons he is a seasoned rookie quarterback that still relies too much on his talent to make things happen. It is part of the reason the Lions struggle so often on offense with their consistency being Jekyl and Hyde teams from one quarter to the next, one half to the other, one part of the season to another.


July 20th, 2014, 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Well to be brief I don't agree at all. Hindsight is a great tool to point. Out the flaws of a player you don't like so much. I own neither jersey or bobble head. Perhaps your Calvin Johnson worship doesn't allow you to adimt when he doesn't perform in the clutch? I don't know you enough to actually understand if that's in play or not.

Think what you like I guess. I'd bet this argument never occurred to you at the time, and if CJ doesn't lose that ball nobody considers that a mistake in judgement. Looking at the film later you can argue look there was a safer option. Now that you know the result of the play. Nothing is ever Calvin's fault. I get it.

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July 20th, 2014, 2:53 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Jafo, Can we stop acting like Akers would've made the 35+ Yrd fg. If you are suggesting that we put the game on the leg of Akers, this argument is pointless

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July 20th, 2014, 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
What if we all agree on this; Stafford didn't make the greatest of decisions on this play BUT Calvin still should have caught that pass.

There isn't one dude or another who is SOLELY responsible. After all, this is a team game. Stafford didn't make the best of decisions but all of that is irrelevant because it was still a catchable ball and once that ball leaves his hands, it is up to the receiver to haul it in and do something with it.

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July 21st, 2014, 11:45 am
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Post Re: Stafford makes top 100 players
Jafo wrote:
Why? Because you like Stafford. Take off the jersey, put away the bobble head, erase the name and simply focus on the performance of the job.

I like CJ a lot more than Stafford. A whole lot more.

It was still CJ's fault.

All of your criticisms of the throw may have some validity (back foot is not ideal, another read may have been better) but don't change the facts. Stafford got that ball to CJ in a position where: (i) even an average NFL WR should have made the play; (ii) it would have given us first and goal and a chance to win the game; and (iii) had we not picked up a TD, we would have had a much easier FG to make to tie the game.

If the back foot throw had caused the pass to be dropped. If CJ had achieved no seperation. Then you might have had a point.

Why have you gone for Stafford on this particular play? He had enough duff ones last season to pick from. TBH, I think maybe the answer is: "Why [pick on this play]? Because you like [CJ]. Take off the jersey, put away the bobble head, erase the name and simply focus on the performance of the job.".


July 22nd, 2014, 5:36 pm
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