Shutdown Corner - NFL

On behalf of NFL fans everywhere, I'd like to extend my warmest thanks to Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. Schwartz just named Matthew Stafford as his starting quarterback to open the 2009 season, which makes the Lions about 700% more interesting.

It's nothing against Daunte Culpepper(notes) -- in terms of wins and losses, I don't even know that the Lions made the right call here -- but from a fan's perspective, Stafford is so much more appealing. Daunte Culpepper's upside is still hanging out back in 2004, while Stafford's upside is off the charts.

Yes, being a rookie, he will peg the occasional defender in the chest with a gift interception. But he's also got the cannon to make some brilliant throws downfield to the uncoverable Calvin Johnson(notes). I'll take Stafford's flashes of brilliance over the slow and steady flow of mediocrity that oozes out of Culpepper.

The decision to go with Stafford gives us another entrant into the Rookie of the Year contest, and will also allow for direct comparisons to fellow rookie signal caller, Mark Sanchez(notes) of the Jets.

For fans, I think it's a win-win. For the Lions, it might be a loss-loss-loss, the odd win here and there, loss-loss-loss-loss, but that was probably going to the case, no matter who started. Now, at least it's a little more interesting.

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