Where does Matthew Stafford rank among the other starting quarterbacks in the NFL?
This is a question that has been asked every single season of Stafford’s career with the Detroit Lions and it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. Some believe Stafford is a top 10 quarterback while some (the ones that know little about football and the QB position) say he is a bottom third QB in the league.
One NFL analyst who has some pretty high praise for Stafford is Sean Wagner-McGough of CBS Sports. Not only does Wagner-McGough have Stafford as a top 10 QB, but he has him at No. 7 on his top 10 list.
Here is what Wagner-McGough has to say about Stafford.
It continues to fly under the radar that Stafford was on pace to throw for 4,998 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in 2019 before an injury ended his season after eight games. At the time of his injury, Stafford ranked second in touchdown passes, fourth in yards per attempt, fifth in passer rating, third in DYAR, fifth in DVOA, and seventh in total QBR. Freed from the constraints of the Jim Bob Cooter offensive system that focused more on short passes and playing in a Darrell Bevell system that allowed him to use his arm talent to throw downfield, Stafford thrived.
As I wrote at the time:
What’s changed is that the Lions replaced Jim Bob Cooter with Darrell Bevell at offensive coordinator and Bevell has allowed Stafford to use his arm talent to throw the ball downfield with frequency. Cooter tried to limit the mistakes that Stafford has a habit of making by forcing him to get the ball out quickly to underneath receivers — at the beginning, it actually seemed like a good idea. In 2016, Stafford averaged 8 air yards per attempt, which was the league’s eighth-lowest average. In 2017, he also averaged 8 air yards per attempt. In 2018, he averaged 7 air yards per attempt, which was the league’s sixth-lowest average. This year, under Bevell, Stafford is averaging 10.7 air yards per attempt. Only Jameis Winston ranks ahead of him. As a result, he’s averaging 8.6 yards per attempt after averaging 7.1 yards per attempt during the first decade of his career. It turns out, letting Stafford use his God-given arm strength is actually a good idea.
With Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones still around, and T.J. Hockenson entering Year 2, Stafford is poised to pick up where he left off. Assuming he can stay healthy this time around, Stafford has a legitimate chance to put together the best season of his career. He’s never been better equipped to do so.
That’s why he’s ranked seventh on a list that doesn’t include Aaron Rodgers. I think he’s going to be the best quarterback in the NFC North in 2020.
To see the full top 10, which does not include Green Bay Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers, please click here.
Nation, where do you rank Stafford?