Stafford vs. Rodgers – Unfinished Business
The Matthew Stafford/Aaron Rodgers story is one that still feels very much incomplete. There’s no denying that it’s been mostly one sided in No. 12’s favor up to this point, with a 11-4 head-to-head record against Stafford. Several times, Stafford has had the opportunity at a signature win facing the Packers, yet has come up short in each.
That’s not to say that Stafford hasn’t had success against Green Bay in general. In fact, since 2013, the Lions have gone 7-7 against the Pack with Stafford in the lineup, though many have been with a backup taking the snaps for the Cheeseheads.
That’s what makes this game, and potentially the next several years, interesting from an NFC North rivalry point of view. There’s no telling just how much longer each of them will play, or whether Stafford will remain in Detroit during the expected housecleaning next offseason. Will Stafford stay in Detroit and turn the page on a new and better chapter? Will he head somewhere else and continue to face Rodgers, only wearing different colors?
As recently as last season, the two quarterbacks (and more importantly, their teams) seemed to be as close to equals as they’d been at any point in their careers. Something snapped on Monday Night Football last October though.
A highly controversial Packers’ win sent the two teams in completely opposite directions for the remainder of the year. Detroit never recovered from the psychological sting of that loss, Stafford broke his back a few weeks later, and Green Bay rolled to 13-3 and a division title as Detroit won just one more game.
This year, Green Bay spotted the Lions a quick 14-3 lead before steamrolling them at Lambeau in Week 2. They’ll enter Sunday as heavy favorites and with a chance to pretty much put another NFC North title on ice.
However, there’s a different vibe around Detroit heading into this one too. Matt Patricia is gone, Darrell Bevell has the keys for the last month, and the Lions are coming off an uplifting comeback win. Players say they’re finally having fun again, and just maybe this is Stafford’s time to get one back on longtime nemesis Aaron Rodgers.