Matthew Stafford at 40,000: 40 memorable moments (Part One)

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images /

After reaching 40,000 yards faster than any passer in NFL history, here’s a look at the best moments along the way for Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions.

Through the first half of the 2019 season, Matthew Stafford is not only off to one of the most impressive starts to his 11-year career, but is adding records and milestones to his credit on an almost weekly basis.

One of the few bright spots in the Minnesota loss was Stafford reaching 40,000 career passing yards, becoming the fastest passer in league history to reach 40K. In just over a week, he passed Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana on the all-time passing list. Sure, the NFL was a much different game in their respective eras, no argument from me there. Still though, Johnny Unitas  and Joe Montana.

For a franchise that went 50 years between having a stable, let alone standout QB, the type of career Stafford is putting together is something to be savored. Yes, there’s much more left to be accomplished, as his detractors will consistently point out.

Until that time comes though, we need to be celebrating everything that Stafford has done for this franchise, rather than harping on the things that he hasn’t yet accomplished. As the sudden summer retirement of Andrew Luck reminds us, it could all be over at any time.

To commemorate 40,000, for the next four weeks I’ll be looking back at 40 of Matthew Stafford’s most memorable Lions moments along the way. Part One kicks things off from the fateful draft night a decade ago, through the early injury-stunted years, to his breakthrough re-emergence in the wild 2011 season.

It hasn’t been perfect, but let’s save any talk of the post-season streak and big game near misses for another day, take a memory trip through the Stafford pensive and just enjoy.