Players whom Stafford has shared the field with do widely speak of his talent, and such was the case again when Carson Palmer was asked to name who he thinks the best quarterback is in the league today. Being interviewed on Tiki and Tierney on CBS Sports, Palmer admitted that Patrick Mahomes is talented, but went so far as to say that Stafford might actually be the most talented player he’s watched at the position.
“I think with my own eyes the most talented quarterback I have ever seen that just doesn’t get his just due and is somebody that people wouldn’t put at the top of their list, Matthew Stafford,” Palmer said. “I think Matthew Stafford has more talent than most of the quarterbacks in the league not named (Aaron) Rodgers and Mahomes. But he plays for Detroit.”
While many might not know it, Stafford’s tangibles and intangibles make him the best package according to Palmer.
“As far as talent, he’s got more arm talent than 95% of the league. He’s got great feet, he’s mobile, he’s really smart, extremely tough. But nobody knows about it because he plays for the Lions,” he said.
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Why is Stafford Overlooked?
According to Palmer, the reason has everything to do with the organization he has played for during his career. The Lions haven’t found a stable footing, and that harms their star players who have had a hard time becoming household names and getting their due for what they have accomplished.
“The quarterback position is so circumstantial. It’s so based on organization. If you play for a good organization you’re going to have a very very successful career. If you play for a bad organization, it’s turnover and change and firing coaches and firing GM’s,” Palmer said. “Matthew Stafford has played for Detroit for too long, and nobody knows he’s as good as he is because they don’t play Monday Night Football multiple times a year, they don’t play a bunch on Sunday Night Football.”
Stafford has also not had the support a lot of great quarterbacks have had in terms of elite defenses and offensive playmakers and bodies in the trenches. That’s been a classic problem through the years with the Lions players and their stars.
“They’re just an organization that has been trying to find their way through his career, and Barry Sanders’ career and Calvin Johnson’s career,” Palmer said.
Hope for the Future
Stafford might not be on the minds of national fans and analysts now, but the hope is the quarterback can get there as he begins the second part of his career and start to accomplish things that validates his talent. Thus far this season, Stafford is off to a solid start under Darrell Bevell, firing 6 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions. Best yet, he is healthy and playing very confidently so far this season.
The fact that Stafford has a running game with Kerryon Johnson, a head coach in Matt Patricia who may have finally built an elite defense and an amazing wideout in Kenny Golladay only bodes well for the future. If Stafford can get everything pulling in the right direction, it’s possible he can take the next step toward reversing some of the old takes about him and winning some of the biggest games to put him on the map.
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