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Stafford only threw for 122 yards in Monday night’s 24-10 win over the New York Giants, but he tossed two touchdowns without an interception and can make throws from any angle. Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who assigned the Monday night game to his players as homework, realizes Stafford is capable of making any throw and extending plays.
The flashy numbers get the headlines, and they stick. Until its end, Matthew Stafford’s new contract with the Detroit Lions will be cited as paying him $27 million per year, more than any other player in the NFL was making at the time he signed it. And to some extent, that’s true. The “new money” value of Stafford’s deal is $135 million, and the new years number is five. Average it out, it’s $27 million — assuming he plays to its end.
Trevor Siemian and Matthew Stafford are tied for the NFL lead in passing touchdowns after Week 2. How many times has a Broncos or Lions QB finished a season as the NFL’s leader in passing touchdowns?
Stafford has turned out differently from the player the Lions might have expected to get when they took him with the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, in ways both good and bad. At the time, the Georgia product was a reasonably high-risk choice. Stafford had plenty of upside, but he was the cheap authentic nfl jerseys china prototypical passer whom teams take shots at and fail on at the top of the draft.
The Vikings, more than any of the teams Stafford has faced in 2017, will give him issues there. It’s also a defense he knows better than most. So he knows — and expects — Minnesota will be coming after him and trying to confuse him with as many looks as possible.
The Lions offense continues to stall just outside the red zone. Stafford struggled to convert several third-and-shorts that could have extended drives. Luckily for the Lions, Matt Prater is darn near automatic from deep. The kicker banged home four field goals, including one from 55 yards and another from 57. The latter extended Prater’s NFL record with 14 consecutive makes from 50-plus yards.
For the Lions to beat the Cardinals, the game likely will have to be high scoring. This bodes well for Stafford, who historically has operated better in two-minute situations. Since 2011, Stafford has averaged 20.8 points in openers in standard leagues and 20.9 points in PPR. He’s also thrown for more than one touchdown in all but one of those games. That said, things have not gone well against the Cardinals. In four games against them since 2011, Stafford has averaged eight fantasy points per game and has been kept from throwing a passing touchdown in two of those games. So this week? There probably are better historical options.
In his first prime-time test since receiving the most lucrative salary in NFL history, Matthew Stafford proved why he garnered the highly scrutinized $135 million deal. The stat sheet won’t do Stafford’s evening justice — he finished with a near-career low 122 passing yards and two touchdowns — but his situational awareness kept plays alive when the Detroit pocket collapsed from the left, turning big losses into small gains. This is a really great deal for Matthew Stafford.
And it didn’t matter, as Stafford soon threw a perfect touch pass to Eric Ebron in the end zone. It gave the Lions a 14-7 lead in the second quarter — and it also moved Stafford past Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese for No. 48 on the all-time touchdown-pass ledger.
Matthew Stafford was brilliant in the Lions’ season-opener, but at some point, the Lions wouldn’t mind giving him help in the form of a competent running game. Detroit wants Ameer Abdullah to be the feature back, giving him 15 carries to Dwayne Washington’s six against the Cardinals. Yet Abdullah logged just 30 yards with those touches. Stafford has done a good job maneuvering the Lions to wins despite the lack of a running game. Seeing if Detroit can find one — whether that’s with Abdullah, Washington or Theo Riddick getting the carries — will be interesting to watch, particularly against a Giants defense with one of the top run defenders in the league in defensive lineman Damon Harrison.