While Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford isn’t getting much help at all from his team’s defense, he’s doing all that he can to propel the Lions forward.
He’s also not helped by the fact that Kerryon Johnson is on the shelf until December with an injury. With the numbers that he’s put up this year, it’s hard to rationalize why he shouldn’t be included in the discussion of the NFL’s most valuable player.
Currently, he’s leading the NFL with 312.4 YPG, and has the Lions air attack ranked third overall with 295.3 passing YPG. Sunday against the Raiders was the latest example of another top performance that was overshadowed by a poor defensive showing. Stafford was 26 of 41 for 406 yards with three touchdown passes and one pick, good for a 110.4 passer rating.
“Our guys are making great plays on the outside,” Stafford said. “(Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is) drawing up some really good plays to get some guys open and we’re hitting them. Kind of using everybody again.
“Marv had a big day. Kenny had a big day. McKissic had a big one out of the backfield. (T.J. Hockenson) caught a screen for a big play. A couple other big ones. So we’re just trying to make sure that we use everybody to their best abilities and I’m just trying to spread the ball around.”
Yet, the Lions currently sit at a rather pedestrian 3-4-1 record, and weren’t able to make up any ground in the NFC North during a weekend that saw division rivals Green Bay and Minnesota both lose.
If they don’t qualify for a postseason berth, another solid season from Stafford will go largely unnoticed.