Allen Park — Not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Red Wings aren’t playing right now. Neither are the Pistons. Only occasionally are the Tigers.
None of those teams has made the playoffs the past two years. None is poised for a quick leap. Stars are fading or not yet rising. This is where you sit in Detroit’s dark, damp sports world, and this is where you’re now compelled to focus.
On the Lions — that’s right — winners of one playoff game in 60 years. On Matt Patricia, a rookie head coach. And more than ever, on Matthew Stafford, in his prime at 30, and in some ways, at a crossroad.
Stafford is in that tricky spot on the athletic arc — still seemingly on the verge of something better. He’s a star by several measures, although no longer the highest-paid player in the NFL, passed by Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s not a transcendent star and he’s not a championship star, 0-3 in the playoffs, but he’s both a benefactor and a victim of circumstance. READ MORE>