Matthew Stafford doesn’t get much credit for his success in the NFL given he plays for the Detroit Lions, but it becomes more and more obvious how underrated he is relative to the talent he has shown.
Recently, a Twitter meme that was shared showed off where Stafford ranks in terms of everything at age 32. There aren’t many stats that show Stafford lagging behind his competition. In fact, Stafford is in the top 3 of most key statistical categories including attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns.
Naturally, Stafford lags behind in a key metric and it is that of playoff wins and division titles. Eventually, in order to be taken seriously, Stafford will have to win some of these games and add to his resume. Regardless of that, by the time he is finished, Stafford is going to be one of the best statistical quarterbacks of all time providing he can stay healthy.
Whether folks take notice or not, Stafford is likely to continue to put up major numbers into the future that could prove him to be underrated.
Matthew Stafford Soars in 2020 Quarterback Tiers
Like every year, CBS Sports analyst Jason La Canfora put out his quarterback tier rankings, placing league signal callers into multiple categories. They are the bona fide franchise quarterbacks (tier 1), top pros and proven winners (tier 2), rising stars (tier 3), you can win with them (tier 4), guys, veterans and placeholders (tier 5), good luck (tier 6) and the jury is out (tier 7).
This offseason, Stafford fell into the “top pros and proven winners” category. Alongside him were Matt Ryan and Dak Prescott. In terms of the explanation why, La Canfora hinted that he is ready for Stafford to do some big winning, and thinks he will get to that in 2020 when healthy.
“Stafford has always been underappreciated and let down by those around him. He was looking like an MVP last year before he got hurt. I bet he picks up where he left off.”
Last season, Stafford was a tier 4 quarterback, or deemed “someone you can win with.” Obviously, La Canfora is looking at Stafford as a player on the rise for this season and thinks he can start to do some major winning on the field.
That’s the hope for the Lions as they move into a new season.
NFL Analyst Thinks Lions Troubles Not Matthew Stafford’s Fault
Recently, former NFL personnel man turned ESPN analyst Louis Riddick explained on Get Up why the Lions don’t need to be looking for a new quarterback in 2020, and the reason was because the team still hasn’t done enough to fully support Stafford in all the ways they can.
“You understand they haven’t put much around this young man at all. From 2011-2017, Matthew Stafford threw for over 4,000 yards every season. In 2011, he threw for 5,000 yards. He basically has carried this football team on his own with no help,” Riddick said. “They had no running game during this entire time. This is a team that has been in the bottom quarter of the league rushing the football because they just put it all on Matthew Stafford’s shoulders. And he delivered. He’s been a top 10 quarterback the entire time he’s been in the NFL. What has happened though is everything around him has been absolutely average to below average to mediocre. It’s been subpar. He’s gotten no help. No quarterback can transcend mediocrity when its surrounding him. Matthew Stafford has had to try and win and succeed in spite of dysfunction around him his entire career.”
As Riddick went on to explain, the Lions have tried to change course recently, but it hasn’t gone that well for them, only further proving his point.
“Finally, they started investing in the offensive line. They drafted Kerryon Johnson, he needs to stay healthy. They’ve become a little more balanced. They’ve done some decent things on the defensive side of the football, but it hasn’t been good enough,” he said. “The people around Matthew have failed him. Matthew hasn’t failed Detroit, the people around Matthew have failed Detroit.”
Safe to say that Riddick, who understands the inner-workings of the league well, is dropping some serious knowledge with this topic.
Matthew Stafford Called Elite Quarterback
Stafford is clearly valued by folks in the NFL community in a big way. Recently, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com revealed a list of his top 5 quarterbacks who are transcendent in the league right now. Stafford was included, and was included amongst some true luminaries right now at the position.
It’s likely to be controversial for many that Stafford is on the list given his lack of big success in the NFL in terms of wins and losses at this point, but there is little doubting the fact that Stafford has some major talent to rely on at this point. He’s got a great arm and all the tools to dominate.
The hope is Stafford’s talent shines through and he starts to win bigger on the big stage in the future. The numbers continue to point to Stafford as a underrated player.