Local writer says today should be Matthew Stafford’s final Thanksgiving start with Detroit Lions

When the Detroit Lions take the field on Thanksgiving Day against the Houston Texans, they will do so with Matthew Stafford as their starting quarterback.

But according to one local writer, if everything goes according to (his) plan, this will be Stafford’s final Thanksgiving start with the Lions.

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That’s right, Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press used his Thanksgiving Day column to state his case for the Lions unloading Stafford and drafting a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the article.

For the Detroit Lions and their fans, there is one person who especially deserves thanks: Matthew Stafford.

Because if everything goes well next season, this should be the final Thanksgiving Day game Stafford plays as the Lions’ starting quarterback.

It’s time to thank Stafford for his effort and his sacrifice over 12 mostly difficult seasons. But it’s also time for the Lions to draft his replacement next year. And if all goes well, that replacement should be starting next year’s Thanksgiving game.

Carlos went on to point out that Stafford has regressed throughout the season and that it is clear that he is not the long-term solution for the Lions.

The problem with Stafford is that it’s clear he’s no longer the long-term solution to this franchise’s problems. He turns 33 in February and appears to have regressed this season. He hasn’t looked the same, and he certainly hasn’t been as effective as he was last year, when he was playing at an MVP level before suffering a season-ending back injury.

Of course, Carlos could not submit his article without taking a shot at Stafford, pointing out that they have the same number of playoff wins.

I might be making an unpopular suggestion to an unwilling listener because, to put it bluntly, the Ford family adores Stafford for everything he’s done for the franchise. He has been a model citizen in the community, he works hard, he says the right things, he’s been a steady and dependable player for most of his career, and he has been the team’s best quarterback since at least Greg Landry (40-plus years ago) and probably since Bobby Layne (60-plus years ago).

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But Stafford has also been mostly a loser. He has a 73-85-1 record (and 0-3 in the playoffs), he has presided over just four winning seasons and he has been at the forefront of the Lions’ struggles the past 12 seasons — through three head coaches and two front offices.

And let me be clear. This isn’t anything personal between me and Stafford. I’ve covered him since he was a rookie, and we get along fine. In fact, we have a few things in common: We both like Rolex Daytonas, and we have the same number of playoff wins.

Nation, what do you think, should this be Stafford’s last Thanksgiving Day start with the Detroit Lions?