CBS Sports: Lions’ ‘triplets’ rank No. 15 in NFL

The Detroit News

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has the big-time contract now. But, does he have big-time help?

It’s somewhere in the middle, according to CBS Sports, which on Wednesday ranked each NFL team’s set of “triplets” — its quarterback, top running back and top wide receiver. The Lions’ triumvirate of Stafford, running back Ameer Abdullah and wide receiver Golden Tate is No. 15 — just squeezing into the top half of the NFL’s top trios.

“Matthew Stafford might be the highest-paid player in the NFL, but he’s still somewhat short of being a top-tier quarterback,” Jared Dubin of CBS Sports writes. “He’s a good one, though, and he and Golden Tate form a strong combination — last season’s dry spell for Tate excepted. Ameer Abdullah needs to prove that he can stay healthy so he can show off all that talent he has.”


Abdullah was limited to just two games last season after suffering a lisfranc injury in Week 2. He also had offseason shoulder surgery, but appears to be ready to go as he enters his third season.

Tate led the Lions last season in receptions (91) and yards (1,077) — his third straight season of at least 90 catches, so we’re not entirely sure what “dry spell” Dubin believes the veteran encountered. He did score just four touchdowns — two fewer than the 2015 season — and adjusted to a new role following Calvin Johnson’s retirement and the addition of Marvin Jones Jr. (55 catches, 930 yards in his first season).

A pair of stars with state of Michigan ties helped the Pittsburgh Steelers top CBS Sports’ list. Running back Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (Central Michigan) joined quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as the No. 1 trio.