Is Matthew Stafford the best QB in the NFC North this year?

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions skilled personnel

The Detroit Lions receivers are better overall than at any point in Stafford’s career, including when Golden Tate was with the team. Kenny Golladay has emerged as a top NFL playmaker coming off of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and he is expected to be signed to a contract extension this summer. Marvin Jones, Jr. has returned for what could be his last year with the team but he continues to be a good second option when Stafford decides to air the ball out.

If Jones can stay healthy, slot receiver Danny Amendola and second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson could make this an offense that threatens every level of an opposing team’s defense. The additions of tight end Jesse James and former cornerback Jamal Agnew converting to a slot role bolster the tight end and slot depth. Speedster Marvin Hall, Geronimo Allison, rookie Quintez Cephus, and Travis Fulgham will battle it out to give depth to the outside receivers.

What we expect to see the most though is a more effective ground game. Bevell is known for grinding yards on the ground in stops in Seattle and Minnesota and his tandem of Kerryon Johnson and rookie D’Andre Swift give him and Stafford more of a serious threat in the backfield. Add Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson, and Jason Huntley and the Detroit Lions have runners that can do anything asked of them.

Many pundits are high on Stafford’s chances to rebound this year and it isn’t difficult to see why. Stafford was putting up big numbers in 2019,  2,499 yards passing, 19 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and a 64.3% completion percentage through 8 games. His 6.5% touchdown percentage was best in the NFC North and in his eleven-year career.

It is no coincidence that he was doing so with an aggressive, vertical passing game coordinator and his best compliment of receivers that he’s ever had, especially in the diversity of his weapons. The depth was also better in his line and running backs, although some of that was exposed by year’s end.

Onto the competition. How might they fare this year? Let’s look at their casts and trends.