Stafford snub from CBS Top-100 sets the stage for shocking 2023 performance

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Matthew Stafford,
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Matthew Stafford, / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

While LA Rams veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford may not have enjoyed a season to write home about, he is still the only quarterback other than Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to win a Super Bowl in the past two seasons. And the latest CBS Sports Top-100 lists Patrick Mahomes as the number-one player for 2023. So where did Matthew Stafford fall on that list?

He didn't.

Was it the fact that he appeared in just nine games in 2022? No, as Indianapolis Colts OLB Shaq Leonard played in just three games, and made the list. Was it his lack of production? Well he played just nine games and put up 2,087 yards. Chicago Bears Justin Fields played in 15 games and threw for just 2,242 yards. Fields made the Top-100. Stafford did not.

I'm not here to argue the point that Matthew Stafford will set records in the 2023 NFL season. Still, this is the healthiest that Stafford has ever been since joining the LA Rams, and his arm is firing long range missiles with pinpoint accuracy once more. And there is still that unresolved matter of a ring for winning Super Bowl LVI.

And he is not better than 100 NFL players?

To be fair, the LA Rams did land two players among the Top 100 on the CBS list. Rams DT Aaron Donald made the Top-10, barely, but getting in at Number 9. And he was joined on the list by Rams WR Cooper Kupp, who showed up at a disappointing position at Number 26. While both could arguably have been ranked higher, they at least made the list.

Matthew Stafford did not.

If Patrick Mahomes, or any quarterback who made the list this season, competes in just nine games in 2023, will they no longer appear on a Top-100 list? Or will the narrative for those players justify remaining among the Top-100? Will they simply pooh-pooh the off year due to injuries, a misfitting roster, and even just a down year?

Matthew Stafford may not make a Top-100 list. But I truly believe that if he remains healthy this season, he could easily finish among the NFL's Top-5 quarterbacks at the end of the year. In the end, subjective rankings before the season starts are simply talking points. It's the statistical production that will define who the best quarterbacks in the NFL are.

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We'll look for Matthew Stafford's name to make that list.