Commercial offers flooded in and magazines came a-calling when Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson hooked up for a memorable 2011 season.
Forty-one touchdown passes and over 5,000 yards (16 TDs and 1,681 yards to Johnson) later, Stafford was a bonafide young stud in the NFL. This year, though, was an entirely different story. The Lions went from 10-6 to 4-11, and Stafford went from hot to not.
Saturday's 31-18 home loss to the Atlanta Falcons was the icing on the cake.
Maybe the Lions didn't quit this year. Maybe they were just victims of their newfound fame. Maybe egos inflated, bringing about a false sense of security.
Maybe 10-6 was good enough.
It's only natural to get a little riled up about Stafford. He could be a star in the NFL. Well, judging by the amount of media coverage he gets, he's already one.
No. Not yet.
He still has a lot to prove, and that goes beyond staying healthy. He's shown he can do that for two straight years -- mostly healthy, that is. But he's yet to show that he can win.
Maybe the SI cover shoots got to him? Who knows?
But Stafford should worry more about how he went from -- to quote the Van Heusen add -- "swagger" to "schlub," the opposite of what he attempts to do for poor old Pete in the video.
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