By Andrew Bezio
In one of the most dismal franchises in NFL history (sorry Detroit), lies one of the most clever and skillful quarterbacks in recent history: former first overall pick Matthew Stafford. Should one of the most wasted careers in NFL history also be considered a Hall of Famer? Let’s dive in a little, shall we?
What makes a HOF QB?:
•How was the player during their prime?
•How much did they help their team? How crucial of a player was he?
•Most importantly, Championships
Let’s start with the fact that he wasn’t exactly given the greatest of influencers. Four different office of coordinator’s and three different head coaches in his career, they all share the same theme, none have been very good at their jobs. Jim Schwartz, Jim Caldwell (should have never been fired when he was), and Matt Patricia have a combined record of 77-105-1. Gross.
Stafford’s personal record of 73-85-1 isn’t much better, but the cook is only as good as the groceries provided to him. Right Parcells? He’s had one 1,000-yard running back: 2013 Reggie Bush with 1,006 to be exact. That also happens to be the last time the franchise has had a RB eclipse that number. Gross. “BuT hE hAd CaLvIn JoHnSoN!” Yeah…. that’s literally all he’s had to work with in his career.
Stafford will turn 33 in February, so he’s in last half of his prime, maybe 5-6 good years left. He currently sits in the top 20 of all major quarterback categories, and if he remains relatively healthy, he might just crack the top 10 in each of them before he calls it quits.
“But isn’t he injury prone?”
Is he though? From 2011-2018 Stafford didn’t miss a single game. 128 straight in that timeframe. I wouldn’t necessarily call that injury prone.
Without Matthew Stafford at the helm, the Lions would be more of a laughingstock than they already are. Some may call him “Stat Padford,” but when you’re given one team defense that ranks in the top 10, coupled with mediocre (at best) across the board, sprinkle in a next-to-nothing running game, you have to 1.) Throw a ton (727 attempts in 2012) and 2.) Come back in games a ton.
He has had 30 career 4th-Quarter comeback wins (Manning had 43 and Brady has 38 and counting). Stafford had a NFL record 8 in 2016 alone. Pretty good company to be associated with.
Championships are the last talking point. Annnnndddddd…… Stafford has zero. A big ole goose egg. Zilch. Nada. Zip. None. Actually, Stafford is 0-3 in the postseason. His postseason stats, 63.2% comp, 908 yards, 4-3 TD-INT, 87.8 rating aren’t that bad, but when the lights shine brightest, Stafford dims like an overused light bulb. Tarkenton, Marino, Fouts, Moon, and Kelly are all QBs in the HOF without a SB win. Not saying Stafford is any of those individuals, but I’m saying there’s an argument to be made.
My personal opinion on this matter is, yes I believe Matthew Stafford is a holiday for quarterback, and he has time to build an already stellar résumé.
One other piece of advice for Mr. Stafford, next time the Lions offer you an extension, kindly decline. But if he does decide to be a Detroit Lifer, will he be the first Detroit quarterback elected to the Hall of Fame since Bobby Lane was elected in 1967? Only time will truly tell.
*Stafford’s Career Stats*
43,606 yds (Career Rank- 17th) (Fastest to 40K, 147 games)
273 TD (Career Rank- 17th)
141 INT (Career Rank- 68th)
89.6 Rating (Career Rank- 21st)