C.J. Stroud takes up easy narrative from Matthew Stafford's tenure in Detroit

Rooted in comments about Aaron Rodgers, C.J. Stroud addressed the obvious from Matthew Stafford's time with the Lions.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Over 12 years with the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford played in three playoff games (0-3 record). Some local media members wanted to call him "Stat Padford", in reference to putting up meaningless numbers, but the organization's failures were not the 2009 No. 1 overall pick's fault.

Stafford had many battles against the Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers over those years. Often, too often, the Lions were on the short end of the stick in those games. Both have of course now moved on, with Stafford now entering his fourth season with the Los Angeles Rams and Rodgers hoping to have a healthy second season with the New York Jets.

Over all those years of the Packers clearly being a better team than the Lions, and the Lions generally being bad, there was a lot of "what if" attached to Stafford. In his first year with the Rams, 2021, the "what if" yielded a Super Bowl win.

Stafford now has the same number of Super Bowl rings Rodgers does.

CJ. Stroud renews common refrain from Matthew Stafford's tenure with the Lions

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud recently appeared on the "Million Dollaz Worth Of Game" podcast. He talked about wanting Eli Manning's career over Rodgers' ("you want the rings, dog, Eli got two".). Deeper than that, Stroud wondered how Rodgers treats his teammates, within a comparison (unfair?) to how Tom Brady treated his teammates.

Then, Stroud dropped a punch line rooted in Stafford's tenure with the Lions.

"If you give Matthew Stafford a chance like Aaron Rodgers had, I guarantee you he might have had more rings,” Stroud said. “I think he would have like three or four", Stroud said.

Broadly, Stroud is clearly a fan of Stafford.

Give Stafford the kind of teams Rodgers routinely had in Green Bay, let alone the steady (if oft-criticized) coaching of Mike McCarthy, and he surely would have been part of more team success over his first 12 seasons. How many more Super Bowl rings he'd have is up for debate, but one more is not a stretch to suggest.

But Stafford would have also missed out on throwing to Calvin Johnson if he hadn't been a Lion, so there's that.

Regardless, the situation they're drafted into matters when we're talking about quarterbacks enjoying team success to start their careers. Stafford was drafted into a rough situation that never got better for very long, while Rodgers entered a situation that was as close to fail-safe as possible for a young quarterback (not to mention how he didn't have to play right away).

As good as things are now with the Lions, Stafford's 12 seasons in Detroit still stand as a lamentable hypothetical if his surroundings had been better. Stroud also stepped toward criticizing Rodgers like few current players would, which is a bonus.