Has Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford Reached A Plateau?

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Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

As Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford prepares to enter his seventh full season at the professional level, consensus around the Motor City is mixed — people either love or hate the guy.

To get the full effect, we need to look at his back story.

Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Stafford climbed to the top of the Lions depth chart rather quickly after being selected by Detroit No. 1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. By the time training camp and preseason had come to a close that same year, then head coach Jim Schwartz made the announcement that Stafford had beaten out veteran Daunte Culpepper for the starting job in week one.

In his rookie season in the NFL, he showed the growing pains accustomed to so many others like him in his position. Over the next few years however, he would battle a few injuries, but would also show signs of progression — and heart.

By the time week five of the 2011 season would roll around, Matthew Stafford had led the Detroit Lions to their first 5-0 start since 1956. Stafford and the team would eventually finish the season with an overall record of 10-6, earning their first playoff appearance since the 1999 season.

At that point, everyone seemed all in. Stafford had become just the fourth quarterback ever to throw for 5,000+ yards in a season, and the 12 year playoff draught was brought to an end.

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