Detroit Lions Stafford also snubbed
The highest-profile player on the Detroit Lions is quarterback Matthew Stafford and these popularity contests probably affect him most in terms of his reputation and the national commentary.
Stafford owns two of the thirteen best single-season passing yardage records in NFL history, neither of which garnered so much as a trip to the Pro Bowl. Only Drew Brees, who owns five, has more. Only six active quarterbacks are above him in career passing yards and career touchdowns, with Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons as the only other quarterback drafted after 2005, all stats from Pro Football Reference.
Individual accolades are often thrown around about players at any position but nowhere is it more prevalent than with quarterbacks. Aside from the number of rings or playoff victories “they” have, Pro-Bowls, All-Pro lists, and unfortunately, lists like the NFL’s Top-100 are all dropped onto the table to be sorted through.
Stafford was nominated for just one Pro Bowl, the year that the Detroit Lions won eleven games, in 2014, despite it being a rather down year statistically for Stafford. In his eleven seasons, he owns a 7-year streak of 4,000-plus passing yards. His first two seasons in the NFL were shortened by injury as was his 2019.
Last year, Stafford was on a pace for another great passing year with 2,499 yards in eight games. His 19 touchdowns in that span were also very near the top of the league.
Patrick Mahomes (No. 4), Lamar Jackson( No. 1), and Russell Wilson (No. 2) are all ranked in the Top-10 by the NFL Network’s list, few would dispute their general placement. Drew Brees (No.12), Tom Brady (No.14), Aaron Rodgers (No.16), and Deshaun Watson (No.20) make up the top couple tiers of quarterbacks according to their findings.
Also making the list above Stafford are Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 43), Dak Prescott (No.46), Kirk Cousins (No.58), Ryan Tannehill (No.68), Josh Allen (No.87), and Kyler Murray (No. 90)?
Tannehill barely had more passing yards playing the whole year. Stafford still had only one less passing touchdown than both Allen and Murray in his half-year. We get that injuries can affect perceptions but Stafford was keeping pace with the NFL elite.
We could see not putting him in the Top 50 with the injury but again, not in the top thirteen? Even EA’s “Madden ’21” has him tied for number eleven.
If you double Stafford’s half-year, he would have led the NFL in touchdowns and would have been second in yards passing. Lamar Jackson had 36 touchdowns and Jameis Winston had 5,109 passing yards to pace the NFL in those statistics.
Stafford was most recently named to the NFL Top-100 list in 2018 as number 31 for the second year in a row. How he doesn’t get back after his performance in the Lions 2019 campaign is perplexing.