Matthew Stafford vs. Aaron Rodgers: An incomplete history

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

Matthew Stafford’s longtime rivalry with Aaron Rodgers still feels incomplete

After a decade of NFC North battles, the QB rivalry between Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers is one that still feels largely incomplete. Despite being longtime starters on division rivals, Rodgers and Stafford haven’t gone head-to-head all that often in their lengthy terms behind center for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Injuries kept Stafford sidelined against Green Bay for one of these matchups in his rookie year, and both of them in the 2010 season. Likewise for Rodgers, once in 2013 and both 2017 games were missed due to collarbone injuries.

Then of course there was the healthy scratch for Rodgers in Week 17 of 2011 (the Matt Flynn Game), plus getting knocked out of the game in the first half at Lambeau at the end of the 2018 season. Stafford, of course, missed the final game last year recovering from his most recent back injury.

Both Rodgers and Stafford are the face of their respective franchises and vitally important to the success of their teams. While Rodgers has a Super Bowl ring and two MVP awards to his trophy room, Stafford arguably has meant even more to his own team. After all, Rodgers replaced an all-time legend (with a Super Bowl and three MVPs of his own) in Brett Favre, while Detroit went over 50 years without true stability at the quarterback position.

Despite a multitude of injuries, the seemingly unbreakable Stafford now has 161 regular season starts for the Lions, while Rodgers has started 186 for Green Bay. However, with one or both of them out of the lineup for this matchup in seven different seasons, the two have gone head-to-head only fifteen times, as much as one would expect from long term divisional foes.

Heading into this Sunday’s game, what had the potential to be a classic QB rivalry in the NFL still has the feel of being largely incomplete. Especially so for one quarterback in particular.