Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford knows he's ‘the bad guy' in his return to Detroit.
For 12 years, quarterback Matthew Stafford donned the Detroit Lions‘ jersey, guiding them to three playoff appearances. However, he now finds himself in opposing colors, marking his first return to Ford Field since the high-profile trade that swapped him from the Motor City to Hollywood in exchange for Jared Goff. While Stafford is mindful of the narratives surrounding the upcoming game between the Lions and Los Angeles Rams, he acknowledges that this time, he returns as the antagonist.
The Lions will face the Los Angeles Rams in the 1st ever postseason game at Ford Field
The Lions enjoyed a remarkable season by claiming the division championship, a feat unseen in 30 years. In doing so, they earned the right to host the first-ever NFL postseason game at Ford Field, which opened in the fall of 2002. Meanwhile, the Rams won 10 games out of 17, finishing 2nd in the NFC West.
Matthew Stafford knows he's ‘the bad guy' in his return
Stafford, who led the Rams to victory in Super Bowl LVI in his very first year with the team, acknowledged that he knows he's returning to Ford Field as the enemy.
“I’m not expecting anything, to be honest with you,” Stafford said on Wednesday. “I was asked this question a couple times, just by friends and family. And I think the biggest thing for me is to just go experience whatever that experience is going to be. I understand what the people of Detroit and what the city of Detroit meant to me in my time and my career with them and to my family. I hope they feel that back.
“But at the same time, I’m not a stranger to the situation and understanding that I’m the bad guy coming to town. You know? I’m on the other team. And they don’t want success for me, so whatever happens, happens. I’m going to go experience it. Play the game. Once the ball is snapped, man, let’s go. Two good football teams go compete and see what happens.”
With years of experience playing in Ford Field before his departure, Stafford is well-acquainted with the electric atmosphere that passionate Lions fans can create in the venue.
“I’ve played in a lot of loud venues throughout my career. But I’m sure this one will be up there,” Stafford said. “There was some loud ones I can remember playing there. It’s a fun place to play. I’ll obviously be on the other side of trying to communicate during those games this week. But I know it can get going.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Lions are set to host the Los Angeles Rams this weekend in the 1st ever-playoff game at Ford Field
- Making his return to Detroit for the 1st time since the blockbuster trade to the Los Angeles Rams is ex-Lion quarterback Matthew Stafford
- Matthew Stafford knows he's ‘the bad guy' in his return to the Motor City, and isn't trying to look too much into it.
Bottom Line: Thanking Stafford will have to wait
The affection Lions fans harbored for Stafford was evident even as he guided the Rams to the Super Bowl, with many expressing joy that their former quarterback achieved championship success, even if not with them.
Now, those sentiments will have to be set aside as Stafford stands in the way of the Lions winning their first playoff game since the 1991 season. There will be plenty of time to properly thank Stafford for his contributions to the Lions at a later time.