Matthew Stafford: Elite or Not, He’s the Right Man for the Job


In the words of the great WWE announcer Jim Ross, Matthew Stafford is one tough s.o.b.

Sep 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) sacks Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took an absolutely relentless beating on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis, Minnesota that would eventually lead to the sixth year pro receiving x-rays following the game.

For the entirety of the divisional matchup, the blocking was putrid. Stafford had pressure in his face for a majority of the afternoon and took far too many big hits along the way. During the game, he would drop back to pass 54 times, and with the long developing routes of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, would rarely have ample time to work with.

Yet, following the game, the boos reigned down from the crowd on social media, with many Lions fans calling for Stafford’s job.

But let’s get one thing straight — this loss is not solely at the fault of the quarterback. If anything, this kid deserves a new-found respect.

On Sunday afternoon, Matthew Stafford took this illy coached offense and put them on his back. Not only could his offensive line not protect him, they couldn’t open a single running lane for the backfield either. As a matter of a fact, Stafford would finish the day with 20 yards rushing, (because he was running for his life) more than any single Lions running back — and by a large margin nonetheless.

Was poor play calling largely to blame?


Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

However, I’m not in the shaming business. And Lions fans shouldn’t be either — especially to someone undeserving.

With that in mind, I get it. We’re tired of losing. 1957 was a long time ago. Far beyond a majority of our lives. However, let’s not drop the blame for an 0-2 start squarely on the guy who is carrying this team when no one else can.

Is Matthew Stafford elite?

Not even close.

Does he make a lot of mistakes?

He does.

But, does it take an elite or perfect quarterback to win in the NFL, or more importantly one to advance a team through the post season?

History tells us no.

Does Matthew Stafford possess the prowess and heart that deserves respect?

Again, absolutely.

Stafford’s condition for the Lions upcoming matchup on Monday night vs. the Denver Broncos remains unknown at this point. When Caldwell was asked, he unsurprisingly wouldn’t give much insight and neither would Stafford.

"“Obviously getting hit out here as many times as he got hit, obviously that took a toll on him,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said, per Kyle Meinke of “But he hung in there.”"

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At this point, all I know is this — we’re all entitled to our opinions in life, and people will always disagree. In this case however, I have no fear in standing up for the guy leading the organization we’re all passionate about.


Because someone has to.

Nate Williams is an editor and columnist for of the FanSided Network. For more Detroit Lions news, rumors and analysis, be sure to follow him on twitter at @SLR_Nate!

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