Maybe not when he visits Hyde Park Steakhouse in Birmingham, where the fifth-year quarterback has a steak named after him (it would be rude not to order it every time), but when it comes to the Lions offense, options are good.
Stafford had lots of them at his disposal in Sunday’s 34-24 win over Minnesota.
- Running back
Reggie Bushhad 191 total yards, including 101 receiving.
Nate Burlesoncaught all six of his targets for 78 yards.
- Running back Joique Bell had 67 receiving yards and two rushing touchdowns.
- Tight end
Joseph Fauriacaught all three passes thrown his way, including a 22 yarder, and a 1-yard touchdown.
Patrick Edwardsmade three key catches and finished with 30 receiving yards.
- Even receiver
Kris Durham’s one catch was important. It was for 11 yards late in the second quarter at the Vikings 2-yard line and set up the Bell touchdown right before the half.
"It was just great to see Matt have confidence in all his personnel," Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "I mean, he didn’t shy away from anybody."
All Pro receiver
It was the first time since Week 7 of last season Johnson was held under 60 yards receiving. He had three such games last year. The Lions lost two of those games to Minnesota and Chicago and won the other against Seattle.
In those three games where Johnson was held under 60 yards, the Lions averaged just 16 points.
They scored more than double that Sunday.
"Guys stepped up and made plays," Stafford said. "The more weapons you can have that can stay healthy and produce, the better you’re going to be.
"It’s fun playing quarterback when you have a lot of weapons at your disposal and I definitely do."
It’s only one game, but it seems the Lions pose a unique challenge to opposing defenses – much like New Orleans’ offense did early in Bush’s career – in that they have a player in Johnson who can take the top off a play and another player in Bush who excels in space.
Everyone else in this offense has very defined roles and are going to be the beneficiary of playing alongside Johnson and Bush.
"It’s exactly what we had planned," receiver Nate Burleson said.
"That’s what I look forward to being in the slot. You can get me man coverage and I’m going to work that. You give me zone coverage and I’m going to do even more. This is why I show up for work. Don’t say much. Don’t complain. And play football. I’m in the best position in the world. Calvin and Reggie are going to allow me to be successful all year."