Where Matthew Stafford Was Ranked In Recent Quarterback Tiers

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Matthew Stafford was ranked in the top tier of quarterbacks by an NFL analyst.

When Matthew Stafford arrived in Los Angeles prior to the 2021 NFL season, many questioned if he was the quarterback to get the Los Angeles Rams over the hump and win a Super Bowl.

It only took a season for Stafford to answer that question. The 34-year-old quarterback helped bring the Rams to the promised land, winning Super Bowl LVI over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Stafford didn’t have the most eye-popping stats in that game (completing 26-of-40 passes for 283 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions), but he stepped up when it mattered the most. Trailing 20-16 late in the fourth quarter, Stafford led the Rams on an 18-play, 79-yard touchdown drive to give Los Angeles the lead with 1:29 remaining.

Moments like that might be why Stafford’s being viewed in a higher class of quarterbacks now.

Analyst Ranks Stafford In Top Tier of Quarterbacks

Each year, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora ranks every starting quarterback in the NFL based on their play in the season prior and how they stack up for the upcoming season.

Heading into 2021, La Canfora ranked Stafford in his second tier, titled “Top Pros, Proven Winners.” After winning a Super Bowl, La Canfora bumped Stafford up to Tier 1, titled “Bona Fide Franchise QBs.”

“And for years people would look at this column and rip me for having Stafford too high in their estimation. People thought I’d over-valued him. Ask Sean McVay about that,” La Canfora wrote about his inclusion of Stafford in Tier 1.

La Canfora’s top tier isn’t as exclusive as some other evaluators would have their top tier. He has Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow joining Stafford in Tier 1.

While Stafford is one of nine quarterbacks included in Tier 1, there’s a case to be made that he could be the best of the best in that group. Stafford was third in passing yards (4,886), second in passing touchdowns (41), and sixth in passer rating (102.9) during the 2021 regular season. And, of course, he quarterbacked a team to a Super Bowl title.

Stafford’s stats during the postseason were impressive, too. He threw for 1,188 yards (just a smidge under 300 yards per game) with nine touchdowns and three interceptions, giving him a 108.3 passer rating over four games.

Rams’ Division Rivals Lack Top Tier Quarterback

If you noticed, Stafford was the lone quarterback from the NFC West in La Canfora’s top tier.

The Rams’ division rivals all appear to have some questions at quarterback entering the 2022 season. The Seahawks shipped longtime quarterback Russell Wilson to the Broncos, getting Drew Lock (among other players and picks) in return. Seattle punted on drafting a quarterback this offseason, making it likely that Lock will be its starter this season. La Canfora placed Lock in Tier 6, titled “Good Luck.”

Lock, who enters his fourth year in the league, could impress the Seahawks in 2022 and become their longterm answer at quarterback. But there is a reason the Broncos gave up on him for Wilson, and if the Seahawks have a bad year, it’s reasonable to think that a 2023 first-rounder will start under center for them a year from now.

The 49ers are in a weird spot with their quarterback situation. Many assumed that Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft, would become the starter in 2022. But Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the roster after helping the team reach the NFC Championship Game last season. La Canfora assumed Lance will be the starter this upcoming season, ranking him in Tier 7, titled “The Jury Is Out.”

Finally, the Cardinals are in a weird spot with Kyler Murray. The dual threat 24-year-old quarterback is certainly talented, making the Pro Bowl the last two seasons. But his dismal performance against the Rams in the playoffs led to questions around the league if Murray could be the quarterback for a title-contending team. With that in mind, Murray and the Cardinals have had trouble reaching an agreement on an extension this offseason.

While we don’t know what Murray’s future in Arizona looks like, La Canfora still assumes Murray will be the starter for the Cardinals in 2022. He placed Murray in Tier 4, titled “You Can With Them.”