LA Rams SB Champion Matthew Stafford is a what tier quarterback?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams will keep on doing what they do, and the NFL analysts and pundits will simply keep on doing what they do. For LA Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, that means testing the NFL All-Time Single Season Passing Records. For NFL analysts and pundits, that means looking the other way.

In the NFL All-Time Single Season Passing Yards Top-25, veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford’s name appears three times. He first appears at the 13th-top yards, piling up 5,038 yards in 2011 with the Detroit Lions. The second time he appears on the list is at 15th overall for putting up 4,967 yards in 2012, again with the Detroit Lions. The third time he appears on the list is at the 24th overall mark when he threw for 4,886 yards with the LA Rams in 2021.  That’s pretty good.

Just to measure the quarterbacks who have appeared multiple times in the Top-25 list:

Drew Brees (7)
Matthew Stafford (3)
Tom Brady (2)
Ben Roethlisberger (2)
Matt Ryan (2)
Peyton Manning (1)
Patrick Mahomes (1)
Jameis Winston (1)
Tony Romo (1)
Dak Prescott (1)
Dan Marino (1)
Eli Manning (1)
Justin Hebert (1)
Kirk Cousins (1)

That’s it. Matthew Stafford has appeared in the Top-25 list of All-Time NFL quarterbacks three times, which is second to only Drew Brees. And yet, he remains a Tier 2 quarterback in the eyes of NFL analysts? I respectfully, and insistently, disagree.

That ‘Tier 2’ ranking was invalidated as soon as Matthew Stafford won four consecutive post-season games to claim Super Bowl LVI. Neither Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen nor Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow have ever appeared in the Top-25 All-Time list, and Justin Hebert has appeared once.  Joe Burrow is 3-1 in the postseason. LA Chargers quarterback Justin Hebert has yet to appear in the postseason. And Josh Allen is 3-3 in the postseason.

The NFL tends to grade veteran quarterbacks harshly, and young and upcoming quarterbacks on a steep curve.  I was fine with Stafford being a Tier 2 quarterback at 0-3 in the NFL Playoffs and not winning a Super Bowl. But it was clear that he was the difference in the LA Rams offense in 2021. That difference meant winning it all.

Let’s be fair about this. If an NFL quarterback wins a Super Bowl and did not do so on the strength of a strong running game and defense, they become a Tier 1 QB. Period.  I like NFL Insider/analyst Mike Sando and he puts out some great stuff. But on this one?

Sorry. I gotta disagree.  Stafford is a Tier 1 quarterback. He has the jewelry to prove it.

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