Has Matthew Stafford become the top gun in the NFC North?

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Matthew Stafford is more underrated than overrated

For years the chorus has been the same, Matthew Stafford puts up big numbers, but the Lions lose. Many fans just accuse him of padding his stats when games are out of reach. Yet Matthew’s 28 fourth-quarter comebacks are tied with Brett Favre for 11th place on the all-time list.

You might say that he only has had those opportunities because he has played for the sad-sack Lions, however, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Johnny Unitas, and Dan Marino form the top five on the list and they all played for perennial winners.

As a matter of fact, Matthew only needs six more to pass Dan Marino.

So those who sell Matthew short as a money quarterback might need to give the subject a little more thought. Matthew even holds the record for comeback wins in a season with eight.

Has he always been perfect in the clutch? No, but the fact of the matter is that he is more underrated than overrated. When you consider how poor most of the Lions teams he has played on have been, it’s actually amazing what he has accomplished.

He has also always had to play second fiddle to a Hall of Fame-caliber passer in Green Bay. First, it was Brett Favre near the end of his career, then Aaron Rodgers took over. The Packers have been quarterback central for basically the last 30 years.

But as we approach the 2020 season, has time and circumstances finally given Matthew the chance to stand atop the list of NFC North quarterbacks this year? The answer just might be ‘yes’.

Not that it’s ever as simple as that, but Matthew Stafford was playing at an MVP level last season when it came to an abrupt end for him in Oakland. We don’t know for sure how the rest of the season would have played out if Stafford had played all 16 games, but if he had kept up the pace he was on he would have finished the year just shy of 5,000 yards passing with 38 touchdown connections and 10 interceptions.

Numbers that would have ranked him second in passing yards, first in touchdown passes and garnered some of those MVP votes if the defense actually did their job and allowed the Lions to win some games.