The Detroit Lions are preparing for Sunday’s game and the news and rumors are ramping up.
Check out the latest buzz below.
Stafford Praised by Peete
Former quarterback Rodney Peete took some time to praise Matthew Stafford.
“He’s still growing, he’s extremely talented. You look around at different quarterbacks around the league and you hear them talk, and people talk about just sheer raw talent, Aaron Rodgers gets mentioned a lot, but I think Matthew Stafford from just a pure talent standpoint is right up there,” Peete told ESPN.
“He’s got all the tools. He can throw the ball with anybody, moves around great. Keeping him healthy is the key. I like where he’s going, I like where his heads at.”
Peete said that he’s met Stafford and talked some with him, and that Stafford is a humble guy who is making good decisions.
He said that Stafford is taking the right steps to enter the top tier of quarterbacks in the league, including taking care of the football.
“He seems to have really understood when to throw it away, when not to throw it away; when to take chances, when not to take chances,” he said.
“It’s working out, and I think that’s the maturity that he’s developed over the past year.”
Peete also said that he notices a different attitude from the team as opposed to last year.
“They really feel like they can get it done. They’re making plays, without making mistakes,” he said.
“The last couple years, it was a feeling like ‘oh no here it goes again,’ now it feels like no matter what the situation, they’re going to find a way to win.”
Bush Might Not Play on Sunday
Reggie Bush, the Lions’ top running back, might not play at all against the Cardinals on Sunday due to a sprained ankle he aggravated last game.
Bush originally injured the ankle in early October against the Miami Dolphins.
Coach Jim Caldwell said that he might take a similar approach to that taken with wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who sat for three weeks with a high ankle sprain.
“Certainly, there’s that possibility,” Caldwell told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday.
Joique Bell took over after Bush aggravated the injury and has also increasingly become a key factor late in games.
Caldwell said that he doesn’t expect lingering problems for Bush.
“I think he’s had a bit of a tough stretch, but I do think that he probably knows his body as well as anyone. He felt he was really ready to go, and it just kind of got hit the right way,” he said.
“This game is kind of odd, it really is. He was feeling good and running well and just got caught the right way and the wrong position, and he had to take a few steps back. I don’t anticipate that being the case with him because of the fact that I do think he’ll be able to help us here at some point in time. Could be this weekend.”
Johnson, Tate Lead Surging Lions’ Offense
Calvin Johnson–finally healthy–and Golden Tate are helping Stafford lead the surging Lions offense.
SB Nation notes that Johnson has another weapon lined up with him for perhaps the first time, making the team all the more dangerous.
“His return will be boosted by the fact that Detroit finally has a legit complementary weapon to pair with Megatron. Johnson has consistently made his hay by beating double and triple coverage while running with teammates such as Kris Durham, Titus Young, Nate Burleson, and Bryant Johnson. Now, with Golden Tate lined up opposite Megatron, the craziest thing has happened — Johnson has started to draw single coverage on the outside,” it said.
“Last Sunday’s win over Miami provided great examples of how this could be a factor down the stretch. In the first quarter, the mere presence of Tate — due to his ability to elevate and catch a contested ball, and then run with it after the catch — was enough to draw the attention of two defenders, allowing Megatron to catch a deep touchdown pass for the Lions.”
It took Tate a little while to build chemistry with Stafford but that has been done, and he grabbed 11 passes for 109 yards even with Johnson returning to the top role.
And despite Johnson missing those games, he and Tate are fifth in the league in receiving yards per duo with 1,370 yards.