Tue. Dec 18th, 2018

Matthew Stafford changing hand signals after loss to Jets

Matthew Stafford says he will be changing his hand signals for the Detroit Lions’ Week 2 game against the 49ers on Sunday, but he says that is unrelated to what happened against the New York Jets.

Stafford was intercepted four times — and Lions quarterbacks were picked off five times in total — in an ugly 48-17 loss to the Jets on Monday night. After the game, the Jets said they knew the Lions’ plays based on their hand signals.

On Wednesday, Lions head coach Matt Patricia said scouting reports are so sophisticated that teams often know their opponents’ plays. Stafford similarly downplayed the issue, saying that changing signals on a weekly basis is normal.

“We do every week,” Stafford said in his weekly news conference, via the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. “So, I don’t know what they thought they had. Not too worried about that honestly, to tell you the truth.”

The Lions can downplay the matter all they want, but the truth is they were smashed in the opener and Stafford had an uncharacteristically bad game. It’s a poor reflection on them if a team knew what they were going to be doing, so it’s no surprise they don’t want to admit to that. But that sure seems to be the case, and it would explain why the game became so one-sided.

Expect Detroit to play much better in Week 2 now that they will have new signals and with players backing Patricia.

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