Scott Mitchell‘s 1995 season is regarded as the all-time banner year for the Detroit Lions history. His 4,338 yards and 32 touchdowns stand as franchise records, at least for the time being.
Matthew Stafford is poised to break Scott Mitchell‘s single season passing record and it appears that the only thing that can stop him is an injury. With four games remaining, Stafford is 811 yards and five touchdowns short of matching Mitchell’s 1995 season totals in passing yards and touchdowns. Matthew Stafford‘s first twelve games of the season have yielded per game averages of about 294 passing yards and two touchdowns. That puts Stafford on pace to break Mitchell’s records on Christmas Eve against the San Diego Chargers.
Expectations for Matthew Stafford was a hot topic entering the season. It seems that fans mostly just wanted to see him make it through a full season without the injuries that plagued him in his first two years. Expectations will always be high for players that were once drafted number one overall but I don’t think anyone expected Matthew Stafford to break franchise passing records this year.
If this is what he is doing in year three, just think of how he could own the Lions record book by the time his career is finished. Stafford is without question the best quarterback talent the organization has seen since the AFL=NFL merger. It’s not like the Lions franchise is filled with legendary players at the quarterback position. In fact, Stafford’s 2011 season already ranks among the franchise’s best and we’re just three quarters of the way through. John Kitna’s 2006 and 2007 seasons in the pass-happy Mike Martz offense are the only two passing yard totals that stand between Stafford’s 2011 season and Mitchell’s 1995 season. When it comes to touchdowns, Stafford is already number two with 27 on the season.
Scott Mitchell may have had a great season but he was not a great player. By the time this season is done, the Lions may finally be able to say their best passing season came from a great player.