It has been said that goodness knows not what lays in the hearts of evil men; possibly by Gandalf the Grey, maybe a Pope or something, who the fuck knows – it’s not important. What is important is that we stand a mere two weeks into the NFL season and the Lions are already a mind-shattering, horrific dumpster fire of failed execution and crushing disappointment. The running game is hot trash, the passing game can actually cause PTSD in lab rats and the play calling is so fucking terrible it makes you question if Joe Lombardi has ever seen a goddamn game of football, even on television. As if all that weren’t enough, the defense is so putrid without Suh and Fairley, that this would be the number one Lions story of the 2015 season if the offense wasn’t such a flaming pile of dog shit. Unfortunately however, as dire as these circumstances are, they are not the most severe issue threatening to send the Motor City Kitties season down the shithole well before goddamn Halloween. No, the biggest problem appears to be that the coaching staff and the entire Detroit offensive line is actively plotting to get Mathew Stafford killed.
As exhibit A of my disturbing hypothesis, I’d like to submit the tape of Detroit’s completely unsurprising 26-16 debacle this past Sunday against the Vikings – that is of course unless the game tape has decided to spontaneously combust to protect innocent eyes from the horrible carnage within. Officially, Stafford was sacked once and hit an additional eight times on a staggering fifty-three drop backs. Actually watching the tape however will reveal that fat Matty spent the entire game running for his mortal life as Minny’s front seven set on him like a pack of rabid dingos fighting over the corpse of a baby in a Mad Maxx movie. Watching the tape you’ll see a veritable clinic on how to turn a former number one overall draft pick into a wounded, frightened animal by a Viking’s pass rush that encounters no opposition whatsoever from the handsomely-paid fat fucks on the Detroit line. Gasping, wheezing and literally bleeding, Stafford comes back to the line time and time again – only to get beat like he stole something a mere three seconds later behind blocking so sub-par that it can only be explained by open malice towards one’s quarterback. Strange things are afoot in Allen Park and these are dark, dastardly times my friends. After several days of investigation fueled by heavy alcohol consumption, I believe I have uncovered all the central figures involved in the plot to murder Matt Stafford:
Riley Reif, LT – While the 6’6”, 320lb giant would seem to lack a motive for wanting his quarterback dead, there is no question that Reif’s position at left tackle affords him a unique opportunity to get the deed done. On multiple occasions this past Sunday, Reif simply stood still on the snap of the ball, waving his tiny T-Rex arms at the air while Minnesota pass rushers flew by him towards the Lions beleaguered quarterback. Did his controller come unplugged? Was he daydreaming about the guaranteed 8M dollar payday coming his way next year? Or, was he maliciously trying to slaughter poor, fat Matty Stafford and his normally proportioned arms, out of basic jealousy? At this point, my investigation into his involvement is still ongoing, but if I had to guess I’d say the mutherfucker is guilty.
Cornelius Lucas, RT – In all of my sleuthing, Lucas is perhaps the biggest riddle, wrapped in an enigma and encased inside a 6’9”man-beast who seems far too gentle for the sport of football. His soft-spoken nature and inspiring comeback story would seemingly rule him out as a potential murderer; or would it? Consider that Lucas is only a part time starter on the Lions offensive line and in the span of two games has yet to throw an actually motherfucking block of any kind during a game situation. Is this gentle giant participating in the plot to kill Stafford to curry favor with a coaching staff that considers him second best? Who got to Lucas, when and how exactly was former Lions Tackle and self-admitted QB killer Lomas Brown involved? For now these questions are impossible to answer, but if one was to judge solely by Lucas’s lack of commitment to picking up a zone blitz, I’d have to say he’s guilty.
Larry Warford, OG – Unlike Lucas, there is nothing gentle about the Lions unquestioned leader of the offensive line. One part grizzly bear and one part Napoleon, Warford’s eyes burn with the seething rage of a man who knows he’s surrounded by mental midgets on a team that’s going precisely fucking nowhere. Is Warford sick of blocking for an overrated QB who stands in the pocket too long and sprays passes like a JUGS machine set on “lay suppressing fire” mode? Has Larry gone to the dark side at the behest of his Sith lord and master, Joe Lombardi? Or, is Warford just hoping to consume Stafford’s still-beating heart as part of a dark and arcane ritual to make himself even freakishly stronger? I would ask him these questions directly, but that would require coming within arm’s reach of a dangerous sociopath like Wardford and I still value my miserable life on at least some, instinctual level.
Jerimiah Washburn – The deranged, malevolent Toadie to Lombardi’s backstabbing Lord Humungus; Lions offensive line coach Jerimiah Washburn has overseen the systemic erosion of Stafford’s pass protection over the past two years. Once considered a rising star after spinning pig shit into gold on the offensive line during the 2013 season, something dark and foul has clearly awoken inside Washburn’s shattered mind. How else can one explain his continued reliance on hand overs and complicated pulling power techniques while coaching a line that couldn’t block a hole in a bucket? Is Washburn sick of Stafford getting all the credit for his 2013 coaching miracle, or is he simply a pawn in our next suspect’s twisted game of quarterback murder?
Joe Lombardi –Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the man I believe to be the ringleader and chief director of the not-so-secret plot to finally kill fat Matty Stafford; Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. This is the man, or perhaps I should say raging psychopath, behind all of the deep crossing routes, five step drops and delayed timing patterns the Lions have employed this year in a concerted effort to shuffle off Stafford’s mortal coil. Lombardi is the son of a bitch who deploys Calvin Johnson as a decoy for entire fucking halves at a time. He’s the feckless wonder who keeps wasting carries on a 29 year old, small school running back with a fumbling problem and a left leg fashioned entirely from Bondo. It is Joe Lombardi who refuses to call draws, traps and screens that would stall the enemy pass rush and might actually produce a positive gain of some kind of offense. Why do the Lions insist on huddling up and putting Stafford behind center when it’s obvious that the team’s only goddamn hope of moving the football is reverting to the QB’s preferred no-huddle shotgun offense? Because Lombardi is a deranged sadist who delights in tormenting Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and an entire NFL fan base for shits and giggles, that’s why. Now, Lombardi’s madness has finally taking complete hold of his evil, diseased mind and he’s moving his dark and vile plan towards its final stage. Once Lombardi finishes off Stafford, the Lions will be forced to deploy human clipboard stand Dan Orlovsky at quarterback. This will naturally lead to even more losing and eventually, an open revolt by irate Lions fans sick of watching the team piss away yet another precious year of Megatron’s career. When the season ends and the Lions finish 0-16 for the second time in less than a decade, Coach Jim Caldwell will be unceremoniously killed and eaten in the Ford Field parking lot – leaving Lombardi to swoop in as the new Lions dictator with his brand new franchise quarterback, Christian Hackenburg!
Do you see it folks? Jet fuel may not be able to melt steel beams, but the chilling malice of Lombardi’s heart of darkness sure as fuck can freeze them, and then I guess shatter them or something, like in that one shitty Batman movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Where was I? Right, the cruelty, the calculations, the inhuman, unwavering patience of this Machiavellian madman is truly staggering and now, Lombardi is this close to achieving his wretched, final triumph! Stafford is already battered and bruised beyond recognition by all but his most intimate friends; he’s suffered injuries to both arms, a savage gash on the elbow and what may well be a broken rib. Now, the Lions will face off against a potentially legendary Denver Bronco’s pass rush that just finished pummeling Alex Smith into submission, and has had an extra half-week to prepare for the Joe Lombardi shitshow they’ll see Sunday night. There are wolves amongst the pride my friends; the Lions are beset on all sides, the situation is critical and there is a very real goddamn chance that neither fat Matty Stafford nor the Lions playoff hopes will survive this upcoming game. Will this be the beginning of the end for the Jim Caldwell era and its hard drinking, collar popping, dudebro field-general? The only man who can answer that question may well be the guy who seems so desperately determined to kill his own quarterback – may God protect Mathew Stafford because his offensive line sure as shit won’t.
- Nina Illingworth