Matthew Stafford: Out as a Lion, in as a Ram

Mandatory Credit: Lionsminn
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LA Rams Matthew Stafford
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A potent pair

They combined to give the Lions their only two winning seasons since drafting Stafford with the first overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.  In 2011, the Lions finished 10-6. In 2014, the Lions finished 11-5.  In the NFL Playoffs, Matthew Stafford is 0-3.  In three playoff games, Stafford completed 74 of 117 passes for 908 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also rushed six times for 25 yards for one touchdown and two fumbles.  In three playoff games, Stafford has had five turnovers.

One of the litmus tests used to detract from the Rams last quarterback was the fact that Goff did not elevate the play of his receivers. But that same standard is a challenge for Stafford as well. During the eight games that Stafford missed in 2019, the Lions lost all eight games. Before Stafford fell to injury, the offense averaged 25.5 points per game. After Stafford fell, the offense was held to under 20 points per game.

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Stafford is a gutsy pocket passer. He does know how to move enough in the pocket to launch the deep ball. He can put up some games where he can put defenses on their heels. He has a good release, one that he has perfected over the years of quarterbacking at a less than a good team. That means he acts like a Timex watch. He will take a licking and keep on ticking.

He is feisty, emotional, passionate. You’ll love that about him. You will love his decision making. He looks one way and throws the other way to the open receiver. He has the savvy of a 10+ year NFL veteran quarterback. And yes, he still has a bomb of an arm on him. He can throw the length of the football field for completions. You will love all of these things.