Matthew Stafford: The Elite Quarterback Who Rewrote the Detroit Lions’ Record Books

The Detroit Lions found their quarterback to provide years of memories back in 2009. Following an 0-16 season, the Detroit Lions held the number one overall pick entering the 2009 NFL Draft. There was a quarterback coming out of the University of Georgia by the name of Matthew Stafford, that was the clear-cut number-one pick. The Lions would take Stafford as number one overall, and he would provide years of memories and etch his name in the Lions' history books.

Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions Tenure:

After being drafted first overall in 2009, Stafford took over the Lions' offense, and aside from injuries, he never looked back. It was his job during his 12 years with the Lions. In his rookie season, he would get the starting job marking the first time since 1968 that a rookie would be the starting quarterback for the Lions entering week 1 of a season. Stafford threw his first passing touchdown in his second career game against the Minnesota Vikings when he connected with Calvin Johnson on an eight-yard pass.

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Stafford picked up his first career win in Week 3 when the Lions beat the Washington Redskins 19-14. Stafford’s rookie season will mostly be remembered for his play against the Cleveland Browns on November 22, 2009, a game in which the score was back and forth all game, and Stafford drove the Lions down the field and played the final play with a separated shoulder. In that game, Stafford threw for five touchdowns and 422 yards. He would end his season on December 6th with a minor knee injury.


Stafford would lead the Lions to the playoffs three times in his career, in 2011, 2014, and 2016; however, as we all know, they could not pull off a playoff win. In 2011 Stafford won the Comeback Player of the Year award after only playing in three games for the Lions in 2010 due to a shoulder injury. Stafford currently is the Lions' record holder in almost every Lions passing record

  • Completions with 3,898
  • Completions in a season- 435
  • Passing attempts- 6,224
  • Passing attempts in a game- 63 (November 13, 2011)
  • Career completion percentage- 62.6%
  • Career completion percentage in a season- 67.2% (Tied)
  • Completion percentage in a game- 88.0% (December 21, 2015)
  • Career Passing Yards- 45,109
  • Passing Yards in a season- 5,038
  • Passing Yards in a game- 520 (January 1, 2012)
  • Most 4,000 Passing Yards- 8
  • Consecutive Seasons with 4,000 Passing Yards- 7
  • Most 400+ Passing Yard Games- 10
  • Most 300+ Passing Yards Games- 49
  • Most 300+ Passing Yard Games in a single season- 8
  • Most Passing Touchdowns in a single season- 41
  • Most Passing touchdowns in a game- 5 (Tied)
  • Career Passing Touchdowns- 282
  • Games in a season with at least one passing touchdown- 16
  • Lowest Career Interception Percentage- 2.3%
  • Career Yards Per Game- 273.4
  • Yard Per Game in a single season- 314.9
  • Career Passer Rating- 89.9
  • Passer Rating in a single season- 106.0
  • Career 4th Quarter Comeback Wins- 31
  • 4th Quarter Comeback Wins in a Season- 8
  • Career Game Winning Drives- 38
  • Most Game-Winning Drives in a Season- 8
  • Consecutive Completed Pass Attempts in a Game- 14 (December 4, 2016)
  • Career Yards Per Pass Attempt- 7.2 (Tied)
  • Wins as a starting quarterback- 74
  • Wins as a starting quarterback in a single season- 11 (Tied)
Matthew Stafford

Wrap Up

Matthew Stafford was a fan favorite in Detroit, and it was tough to see him leave when he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams prior to the 2021 season for draft picks and current Lions quarterback Jared Goff. Stafford would go on to lead the Rams to a Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 23-20. Lions fans got to take enjoyment in seeing Matthew Stafford finally hoist the Lombardi trophy, even if it wasn’t in a Honolulu Blue Lions jersey.

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