Okay, let’s put all the cards on the table. Yes, I admire Matthew Stafford’s toughness and believe that he is capable of much more than he has accomplished. However, the only way that any player can be truly judged is by their body of work.
We all know how poorly the Lions have fared against playoff caliber teams under Stafford and his infamous 0-3 record in the postseason is glaring. Lesser quarterbacks have achieved more than Matthew Stafford has.
That is an undeniable fact.
Yet what about the Lions as a franchise? Over the last 60 years since they last reigned as the NFL champions, they haven’t exactly been world beaters. The Detroit Lions have played in only 13 playoff games since 1957 and managed to win only one of them.
That’s a whole lot of pathetic.
So while we’re on the subject of burying Stafford consider this; who would you rather have at quarterback, Matthew Stafford or the only signal-caller who has won a playoff game for the Lions during these decades of despair, Erik Kramer?
The failure that Stafford has to live down on an almost daily basis now, stems from more than just his own deficiencies.
But while we’re on the subject, it can also very capably be said that he has never made his teammates better. A trait that the great quarterbacks have in common. That intangible ability through a combination of moxie and skill, to make teammates play at a higher level.
Getting the personnel around Stafford right and having the right coaches in place to maximize both Matthew’s abilities and those of the rest of the offense is certainly something that needs to happen. But he needs to take his game to the next level as well.
Love him or hate him, Matthew Stafford is probably the most gifted quarterback the Lions have ever had. Yet if I had to choose a Lions quarterback to lead this franchise in a must-win game, I would still take Bobby Layne every day of the week. Regardless of era.
So this next season is a big year for Matthew. A year that he will need to bounce back with a vengeance and lead this team to greater heights. But even if he does, it doesn’t hurt to think about the future.