After posting a near NFL MVP-level season, does Detroit Lions’ starting quarterback Matthew Stafford have the most to prove in 2017?
Last season, quarterback Matthew Stafford was undeniably the Detroit Lions‘ most valuable player on their roster. He led the Lions to eight come from behind victories, a 9-7 season-ending record and Detroit’s second playoff appearance in three years.
In fact, the now 29-year old quarterback was a potential NFL MVP candidate after passing for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 65.3% of his passes. But an injured finger derailed Stafford’s momentum, resulting in Detroit losing their final four games of the season including a wild card playoff matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Now, on the verge of receiving a possible monster contract extension to remain in Detroit for the foreseeable future, one Lions’ insider believes Stafford has the most to prove in 2017, more than any other player on the roster.
"“The Lions are likely to sign Stafford to a long-term deal soon and make him their only hope for the foreseeable future to win a Super Bowl,” wrote Carlos Monarrez for the Detroit Free Press. “But the Lions haven’t had consecutive winning seasons under Stafford and they’re 0-3 in the postseason with him…Can he finally take the steps toward making the Lions a consistent winner, validate his soon-to-be exorbitant contract and — gasp! — possibly win a division title?”"
After losing wide receiver Calvin Johnson last offseason to an early retirement, the Lions can not afford to lose Stafford too. And that means paying him every single penny they can to keep him in the Motor City. Unfortunately, Detroit’s front office has struggled to find long-lasting and talented players to build the team around him.
But the reality is although Stafford is considered by many to be the Lions’ greatest quarterback in franchise history, the Lions have yet to win a single playoff game under his tenure. Now, entering his ninth season in the NFL, and possibly possessing one of the biggest contracts in league history, the pressure on Stafford to win will likely be greater than ever.
So all things considered, Matthew Stafford could certainly have the most to prove in 2017. Do you agree? Or is there another player on the Lions’ roster who has more to prove this season? Let us know in the comments section below.