According to the Associated Press, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz informed his team on Monday that rookie Matthew Stafford would start Sunday's season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
Stafford had been in a dead heat with veteran Daunte Culpepper for the starting nod, but his improved performances during the training camp and preseason -- along with Culpepper's untimely injury -- helped boost the No. 1 pick to the forefront.
Schwartz cautioned, however, that Stafford had won the job with his play, rather than by default.
The former Georgia Bulldog standout accrued a quarterback rating of just 52.8 through his four exhibition performances (including tossing an interception in each contest), but his laser-guided throws and quick adherence to the team's playbook ultimately won over the coaching staff.