Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season will feature Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford facing off with the Washington Football Team. For Stafford, the goal is to rebound from a rough performance against the Vikings and help his team remain in the playoff hunt. Washington will look to wreak havoc for the veteran.
The two sides will be competitors on Sunday, nothing more. But, given the situations of both franchises, could a partnership be in the future plans? Could the game be an audition for Stafford? NFL writer Marc Sessler believes so.
In his latest "NFL Hot or Not" column, Sessler began to evaluate the future for teams that have uncertainty at the quarterback position. That includes Washington, who was linked to Stafford. Here's what he had to say:
"Washington will finish with five wins and out of the race for Lawrence. Ron Rivera did everything he could to get away from a young project in Dwayne Haskins. His heart beats for a known-quantity veteran with huge upside. With Detroit a candidate to punch the reset button this offseason, Stafford could be dangled."
Stafford is one of the few names that hasn't been connected to Washington as the team continues to search for an answer at quarterback, that is until now. In theory, it's a match that could at least deserve some consideration.
As Sessler explains, this is based on the idea that Washington will miss out on a top quarterback in the draft and head coach Ron Rivera feeling Dwayne Haskins is not the answer. At 2-6, the team is still very much in play for a top pick, but the upcoming schedule could potentially afford them additional wins. In a bottom-heavy league in 2020, that could be all it takes to miss out on Trevor Lawrence.
As for Haskins, Rivera has continuously said that he will be evaluated when it comes to searching for a franchise quarterback. He believes there is still room for the second-year passer to grow. Still, being benched after four games and now backing up Alex Smith doesn't exactly scream "2021 starter."
Beyond Haskins, Allen and Smith will get fair looks as well, according to Rivera. Yet neither feels like the answer at this time. That could lead Washington to look for a veteran quarterback to take the reigns for multiple years. Stafford has the capability of producing at a high level in the league even as he'll enter his age-33 season.
Turnovers still create problems at times, but he can also push the ball down the field with the best of them. Bringing him to Washington would give Rivera an established passer that can make all the throws and stretch the field.
The other part of the equation -- Detroit letting go of the passer -- is a possibility. Should the franchise's slim hopes of reaching the playoffs in 2020 crash and burn, the Lions could at least consider taking offers on their quarterback for the past 12 years. Detroit is still multiple pieces away from really competing and dealing Stafford while he's still under control could yield a solid return. If the team is to enter a rebuild, there's not a major need to keep him around.
As a team that has a revolving door at quarterback, there will be no shortage of names thrown out prior to the 2021 season for Washington. Whether or not Stafford is a legitimate option will be unknown for some time.
Still, maybe -- just maybe -- Sunday is more than just a matchup with the Lions. Maybe it's a preview of what Washington could see under center come next year.