Foxborough, Mass. — In a game filled with errors, Matthew Stafford had an inexcusable one Sunday in a 34-9 loss to the New England Patriots.
Down 27-9 with 11:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Lions faced fourth-and-10 from the New England 25. Seeing nobody open downfield, Stafford escaped the pocket, scrambled left and slid short of the first down for a 9-yard gain.
Stafford could've easily gained a few more yards, maybe even made a defender miss and kept running. Instead, he began his slide short of the line to gain a first down.
"I got to get that," he said after the game.
The Lions offense failed for 60 minutes in Sunday's loss and didn't score a touchdown for the second straight week. Stafford finished 18 of 46 for 264 yards with an interception. His pass catchers dropped at least six balls, and the offensive line struggled to protect him once again, though Stafford only took two sacks.
But as bad as the offense was and as porous as the defense was on three straight New England touchdown drives in the first half, Stafford and the Lions could've made it a game early in the fourth quarter. Any score on that drive would've cut the deficit to two possessions.
Instead, Stafford stopped short of the first down to avoid a hit, giving the Patriots the ball back with 11:25 remaining. The Lions didn't make it across midfield again.
"I was looking at the sticks, and I just thought," Stafford said, "I believe it was (safety Patrick) Chung over there or somebody was over there. But I got to get that."