Stafford’s Overall Clutch Numbers
In his 11 year career, Matthew Stafford has had a total of 43 opportunities inside the two minute warning to tie or take the lead. Depending on which stage of his career you’re sectioning off, his level of play with the game on the line has been around average (his first five seasons), among the all-time greats (2014-17), and close but lacking the end results (the last two seasons).
Stafford’s Career Two Minute Efficiency Rating: 44 percent (43 opportunities, 19 successes).
Among the 24 missed chances:
- Three long drives all the down to the one yard line. This includes a Calvin Johnson fumble six inches from the breaking the plane and Golden Tate marked down about a foot away after originally being ruled a touchdown.
- Driving into field goal range, then having the best receiver in the game drop a wide open catch near the goal line for one of the softest interceptions you’ll ever see.
- Two go-ahead touchdown drives just outside the two minute warning, then having his defense give up the game winning points and leave just a few more seconds for the offense.
Like I said at the beginning, this is a relatively new and underused tool for defining and measuring clutch quarterback play at the end of games. Still, through the first nine years of his career, Stafford was right up there around 50%, along with MVP level players like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes in this category, and would appear to be due for another stretch of late game magic in the near future.
Putting the 3 ‘Clutch Categories’ together
Game Winning Drives: With credit for 34 game winning drives, Stafford is fifth among active NFL quarterbacks, best among anyone drafted in 2009 or later, and 13th in NFL history.
4th Quarter Comebacks: With 28 career comebacks, Stafford is also fifth among active players, first for anyone drafted in 2009 or later, and 11th in NFL history.
Two Minute Efficiency: The cold stretch over the past two years has brought his career 2ER down to 44 percent, but with 19 successful two minute drills in his career, Stafford at his best is right up there with Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, and the rest of the deadliest and most prolific two minute performers of the generation.