The Detroit Lions drafted Matthew Stafford with full confidence they were getting their franchise quarterback. They maintained that belief through early injury troubles and while Stafford remains somewhat of a lightening rod, he is on the cusp of justifying the organization’s faith – at least in one respect.
At just 25-years of age, Stafford sits 287 yards short of becoming the Lions all-time leading passer. Sunday’s huge 488-yard game against the Cowboys moved Stafford’s career passing yards total to 15,424 putting Bobby Layne‘s total of 15,710 yards within reach the next time Stafford takes the field.
Will he do it immediately after the bye in Chicago? It is a good bet as the 287 yards needed to set a new mark is less than Stafford’s game average for the 2013 season as well as his career as a whole. However, Stafford threw for “just” 244 yards in the first meeting between the Bears and Lions this season. With Reggie Bush finding plenty of running room through the Bears defense, Stafford attempted a season-low 35 passes.
Whether the record is broken in week 10 against the Bears or week 11 against the Steelers is almost irrelevant. The record is going down this year and either way it looks like it will happen on the road.
Amazingly, the Lions could also be just a few weeks from also having a new franchise mark set for career receiving yards. Calvin Johnson is 517 yards short of Herman Moore‘s club record of 9,174 receiving yards as a member of the Lions.