It’s long been figured that Matthew Stafford will retire as one of the most successful quarterbacks of all-time statistically, and a new benchmark has been reached on that front during Week 15 with the Detroit Lions.
Stafford once again has surged up the NFL leaderboard in terms of career passing yardage. Stafford is now 16th overall after a short pass on Sunday afternoon, and has overtaken Drew Bledsoe, who was a solid quarterback in the league with New England and Buffalo and won a Super Bowl title.
Matthew Stafford, with that 8-yard pass to D'Andre Swift, moved into No. 16 on the NFL all-time passing yards list, moving past Drew Bledsoe (44,611)
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) December 20, 2020
Now, Stafford is on the move again and the next quarterbacks in sight are Vinny Testaverde (46,233 yards) and Carson Palmer (46,247 yards). It’s probably doubtful Stafford gets there this season considering time, but in 2021, he could easily pass those players and work himself up to 14th on the list and continue his push.
The only competition behind Stafford who is active? Alex Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who are well behind Stafford’s pace. Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers are currently ahead of Stafford significantly and are just over 50,000 career yards.
Stafford is still young and time is on his side, so that means he could very well work himself ahead of some of the other names he is chasing and will be chasing the rest of his career.
Matthew Stafford’s Career
The Lions quarterback has been charging up the leaderboards and has been a statistical dynamo since he came into the league in 2009. It’s more than possible that Stafford ends up significantly high on the all-time passing yardage list considering how elite he has been in his career at throwing the ball around. Those stats, however, might not mean much in the end if Stafford cannot achieve personal success in terms of winning in the playoffs, winning a Super Bowl and winning with the Lions.
Stafford will be decorated and could be in the Hall of Fame conversation, but without some more success, it’s possible his candidacy will be complicated. When all is said and done, though, Stafford will probably be amongst the statistical elite.
Matthew Stafford’s Lions’ Future Questionable
The future of Stafford will become a big talking point for the Lions given the changes within the front office and at head coach. The past regime, led by Bob Quinn, remained loyal to Stafford but the shakeup could leave his future firmly up in the air. That’s especially true given the fact that ownership has essentially deferred the decision to the new staff once they come to town.
Thus far in 2020, Stafford isn’t having the type of season that will wow many folks. He’s thrown 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with 3,522 passing yards. He’s had good games and average games, but has shown the toughness that has come to define his tenure.
The Stafford decision will loom large over the next front office and isn’t as cut and dry as many think. The stats will always show that Stafford is elite, and the only question is whether he puts these numbers up in Detroit or elsewhere moving forward.