QB Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions
|6-2, 225||Born: 2-7-1988||College: Georgia||Drafted: Round 1, pick 1|
News you need to know
From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 23): Stafford was safe with the ball and used his secondary targets well to beat the Raiders. He also was aggressive as a runner and the offense is clearly flowing through him with less emphasis on a sputtering run game. Against an Eagles team that is in crisis on Thanksgiving this week, Stafford is a solid QB1.
Week 12: vs Philadelphia Eagles
Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. The Lions won a game last week! In other dire portents of doom, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were seen getting their horses shod, and the moon turned blood red. Just kidding - the Lions really did win a game, though. Matthew Stafford found both his primary receivers for over 50 yards receiving last week, making their fantasy owners less depressed. Calvin Johnson had nine targets for 5/88/0 receiving; Golden Tate handled 11 for 8/73/0; and Theo Riddick saw six for 5/72/0. The only TD scored by the Lions' offense was run in by Stafford, making his fantasy owners slightly less depressed (22/35 for 282 yards passing, zero TDs or interceptions, with 6/31/1 rushing). The Eagles' fans left Lincoln Financial Field feeling depressed last week, after their 'defense' allowed well over 500 combined yards to the Buccaneers, including a whopping 19/29 for 246 yards passing, one million (ok, only FIVE) TDs, and zero interceptions to rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. Philadelphia lost 45-17, but Mark Sanchez didn't fumble the ball! There is a silver lining in every cloud, Eagles' fans. Two depressing units face off in this depressing-yet-nationally televised matchup. That sounds about even to us.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2015 Week 11 vs OAK (22 / 35 / 282 / 0 / 0 pass, 6 / 31 / 1 rush)
For the third time this season, Matthew Stafford finished a game without an interception. Unfortunately, he also didn't throw a touchdown. Stafford began the game by moving the ball with ease between the 20 yard lines. He spread the ball between seven different players, and completed a high percentage of his passes. After starting the game with five completions, the Detroit offense sputtered in the red zone. A well thrown ball to Eric Ebron in the end zone (for what would have been an 11 yard touchdown) hit the tight end squarely on the hands but was dropped. Stafford then forced a ball into tight coverage for Tate, but the defender knocked the ball away and forced a field goal for Detroit. On the next drive, Stafford again moved the ball well, but stalled on Oakland's 19 yard line. Stafford overthrew Ameer Abdullah on a corner route that would have resulted in a touchdown, but ultimately took what the defense gave him, including a sack which resulted in another Detroit field goal. The second quarter was less thrilling for Stafford and company. While he worked short-to-intermediate routes, Stafford found less success as passes were broken up, overthrown, and knocked down at the line. Stafford did attempt a 50 yard bomb to Calvin Johnson, but overthrew the receiver who was double covered over the top. Later, in the hurry-up offense, Stafford found Johnson for receptions of 21 and 36 yards. A grounding penalty as Stafford was flushed from the pocket and nearly sacked, along with a 20 yard pass that was overthrown to Tate, put Detroit out of range and ended the half for them offensively. The third quarter began with a broken up pass and two sacks on Stafford. Fortunately, one of the sacks was negated by penalty, but Oakland showed improved success at collapsing the line and getting to Stafford as the game wore on. Golden Tate had gains of 6 and 21 yards, both passes caught near the line of scrimmage where Tate used his speed and agility to tack on extra yardage. Stafford and Ebron again failed to connect when Stafford's pass was too far in front of Ebron and could have resulted in an interception. The fourth quarter was all about Stafford's scrambling and running back Theo Riddick's usage. Of Stafford's six completions in the final quarter, four of them were to Riddick. Stafford also managed 28 yards on the ground on only three plays. Two of which he fled the pressure in the pocket and headed down field. On first and goal from the five yard line, Detroit spread the formation with five receivers out wide. With minimal pressure on the line, Stafford executed a quarterback draw up the middle for a touchdown. Stafford seemed to respond better to pressure this weekend. He frequently escaped and threw on the run, or headed down field for positive yardage. While he did have several off-target throws, he only made one large mistake on a grounding call where he felt the pressure and didn't think before reacting.
2015 Week 10 vs GB (24 / 38 / 242 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)
Fresh off the bye, Matthew Stafford entered week 10 as healthy as he has been in weeks, and looked spry overall facing the Packers in Lambeau. Stafford started the game by finding very little success through the air. A mixed bag of tipped passes at the line, passes dropped by receivers, and significant pressure forcing off-target throws had Stafford completing only one of six passes in the first quarter. His lone completion was to Lance Moore on a comeback route for 10 yards. In the second quarter Stafford built some momentum while utilizing the playmakers of the Detroit offense. The continued attempt to build a ground game opened up a play action pass to Calvin Johnson on a slant for 13 yards. Ameer Abdullah got involved as well on a circle route for 7 yards out of the backfield. Increased pressure from the Green Bay defensive line disrupted the next few attempts from Stafford as the pocket was diminished, thus disrupting the play, and next a bad transfer from the center killed a play as Stafford was forced to fall on the ball. For the remainder of the second quarter (a good chunk in the hurry-up offense) Stafford and his receivers were animated and connected on several passes, including a screen to Joique Bell, a couple of tosses to Eric Ebron, and a 19 yard gain on a corner route to Johnson. A poorly overthrown ball to Johnson in the end zone stalled the drive in the final seconds of the first half. A 104 yard kickoff return set Detroit up with a 1st and goal situation to start the second half. After a failed run by Bell, Stafford found Brandon Pettigrew on a quick slant from the two yard line for a touchdown. Overall, the third quarter was a very successful one for Stafford. On the next series Stafford executed a beautiful play action pass on a fake to Bell to the right with a quick spin and throw to Golden Tate on the left for a 5 yard gain. Staffordís next four completions were a 15 yard pass to Moore up the middle, a 16 yard gain to Johnson on 3rd and 5, and two 13 yard gains ñ one to Theo Riddick out of the backfield and the next to Ebron on a crossing route. The rest of the third quarter is one Stafford would prefer to not repeat, as he followed up a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage for no completion with an underthrown pass intended for Moore that was intercepted by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. From Staffordís view, the traffic appeared to conceal the defender, but the poor throw was all Stafford. The fourth quarter was much more interesting than it should have been due to two missed extra points by Matt Prater. Stafford started the quarter with a tight pass to Johnson on the sideline. Stafford nearly had another turnover on a poorly thrown ball downfield that was well off-target, but fortunately was so off-target that no defenders were in the region either. Stafford continued to find success on intermediate passes to Johnson, Bell, and Riddick, some of which were thrown out of the pocket due to the absence of one due to persistent pressure on the offensive line. The most exciting play of the game came next when Stafford found Tate 5 yards downfield on a slant, in which Tate switched direction and used his athleticism to add 38 yards of his own after the catch. Shortly thereafter, Stafford found Moore on a 4 yard pass for a touchdown.
2015 Week 8 vs KC (22 / 36 / 217 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
Matthew Stafford and the Lions made their way across the pond this weekend to face the Chiefs at Wembley. While Stafford was working under a new offensive coaching staff, the results were eerily similar to previous weeks. Stafford began the first quarter working short routes to Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and even getting Eric Ebron involved early. Things appeared to be working as planned on Detroit's first drive until the offensive line gave way to increased pressure and Stafford had difficulty adjusting. While Stafford and company were able to move the ball down to the KC 17 on their first drive, they had to settle for a field goal and gave the Chiefs a good feel for Detroit's weaknesses. Midway through the first drive KC began to apply increased pressure in the form of overloaded edge blitzes, secondary blitzes, and misdirection. After being sacked for the first time Stafford displayed inaccuracy and poor decisions with an off throw to Ameer Abdullah that was nearly intercepted and a pass to Eric Ebron that was off target. Entering the second quarter, after a short pass to Tate, Stafford underthrew Johnson on a 25 yard pass. On his next attempt Stafford threw a pass intended for Abdullah that was well in front of him and was picked off by the defense. A stern discussion ensued, as it appeared that Abdullah stopped short and failed to run his full route. Stafford's next four completions were to Johnson for 17 yards twice and Tate for 13 yards twice. The rest of the second quarter was a train wreck, as the line broke down repeatedly and Stafford was sacked three more times before the half. Stafford dink and dunked his way through the third quarter with minimal success. His best pass of the game was a well-placed ball in between defenders to Tate on a slant route for 15 yards. After that, Stafford was sacked again and started the fourth quarter with a four-man rush sack when 75% of his line completely caved. An opportunity for a deep hook-up with Johnson was missed when Stafford overthrew an open Calvin Johnson on the sideline by several yards. The two did find their connection a bit later on a 30 yard pass in which Johnson high-pointed the ball for the reception. Detroit's only touchdown of the game was deep in the fourth quarter when Stafford found Lance Moore on a 21 yard reception, much of the yardage being after the catch. Overall, Stafford was pressured more than ever in this game and was visibly bothered by it.
2015 Week 7 vs MIN (18 / 26 / 256 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
What began as a very positive game ended up a very long day for quarterback Matt Stafford behind a poorly playing offensive line, as he was constantly under pressure and was sacked seven times by the Minnesota Vikings. He also sustained a hand injury requiring X-Rays, which were negative. In the first quarter, things seemed to go Stafford and the Lions' way. He hooked up on a long 46-yard completion to Calvin Johnson and then hit Johnson again on a short pass two plays later for a 1-yard touchdown. On both passes, as well as a 5-yard completion to running back Theo Riddick, Stafford's ball-placement and accuracy were on point. The touchdown pass to Johnson was a great example of everything Stafford does right. He used Johnson's height and length by throwing the ball where only his receiver was going to catch it. Stafford also showed some good movement out of the pocket on Eric Ebron's 7-yard touchdown reception later in the first quarter. On the play, the Vikings initially did a good job of covering the receivers, giving their front line time to break the pocket. Stafford wisely swallowed a pass, pulled the ball down and fled the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield as he did. In the time he had to do that, Ebron slipped away from the coverage in the end zone and Stafford delivered the ball for a score. However, with the second quarter came more a more consistent pass rush from the Vikings. Stafford was first sacked with about ten minutes left in the first half, and then again with about six minutes left. When he wasn't getting crushed, he was still having to deal with constant pressure from the Vikings. On that second sack, by defensive end Everson Griffen, the defender wasn't even blocked and had a clear path to Stafford. Too often it seemed as if the offensive line was simply outnumbered and the result was pressure and sacks. Meanwhile the Vikings slowly caught up to the Lions and then took the lead, forcing the Lions to do more passing, which allowed the defense to just unleash blitzers on every down. By the late third quarter Stafford had been sacked four times, hit five times, hurried five times and knocked down four times (per broadcast team). This continued into the fourth quarter, until the Lions finally started to move the ball again although even then the pressure on Stafford was constant. The Lions should have had a second Stafford-Johnson touchdown as Stafford had his hand hit on a throw and the ball popped up into the air. Johnson, showing off his incredibly strong hands, leapt up and grabbed the ball away from three Vikings players. On the replay, it appeared as if he had control of the ball across the goal line, but the Lions hurried up the offense and didn't challenge the spot. That was a crucial mistake as the team failed to score at the goal line and turned the ball over on downs. They got a safety in the end zone but that still left them two scores short. If they had gotten that touchdown--or at least kicked a field goal--they might have had a shot to win the game.
2015 Week 6 vs CHI (27 / 42 / 405 / 4 / 1 pass, 6 / 37 / 0 rush)
Fresh off a week 5 benching, Stafford was fortunate enough to draw the Chicago defense as his rebound opponent. Chicago came into week 6 as one of the most passing friendly defenses in the NFL, and fortunately for the Detroit home fans, Stafford did not disappoint. Stafford's first quarter was dominated by four out of his five completions going for 20 yards or more. He capped off a successful drive with a 20 yard passing touchdown to Lance Moore. While he finished the first quarter with a sack for a seven yard loss, Stafford displayed a renewed vigor and confidence. A successful ground attack accompanied by deep throws from Stafford sustained the Detroit success into the second quarter when he found Calvin Johnson for a deep 43 yard reception and followed it up with a well-placed corner route to Tim Wright for a touchdown. After the second touchdown, things got a little more interesting for Stafford and company. A poorly executed pass to Abdullah in the second quarter was nearly intercepted and a controversial pass to Golden Tate was ruled a touchdown. Stafford continued to utilize the deep pass more that he has all season, and ultimately only made one big error on an awkward quick pass towards Theo Riddick in the fourth quarter that ended in an interception. Stafford exhibited accomplished accuracy and worked the pocket well. He avoided pressure and didn't force the majority of this throws. Seeking out Calvin Johnson helped his game, and he worked all areas of the field successfully. Stafford managed to come out of this overtime extended game without any big hits or injuries. He had a confident ability to drive the field and didn't shy away from targeting all of his receives and extending the field.
2015 Week 5 vs ARI (20 / 32 / 188 / 1 / 3 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
Matthew Stafford was harassed and embarrassed by an aggressive Arizona Cardinal defense on Sunday. Arizona consistently succeeded in putting pressure on the offensive line, disrupting Stafford's progressions and throwing lanes. Stafford did his best to maneuver within and outside of the pocket, but the combination of pressure, great downfield coverage, and a game that quickly tilted in Arizona's favor had Stafford well outside his comfort zone. Things quickly went down the wrong path as Stafford appeared confused within the first minute of the game and used Detroit's first time out. On his very next pass he rolled outside to avoid pressure and promptly underthrew tight end Tim Wright for his first interception of the game. Stafford's next six passes were for gains of 9, 9, 18, 12, 50, and capped off with a 6 yard touchdown pass to Theo Riddick. Things seemed to be trending in the right direction for Stafford until the next series - working mostly short routes, Stafford and company achieved two first downs before Stafford carelessly threw a screen pass towards Ameer Abdullah with a defender in between. The defender easily caught the ball for Stafford's second interception of the day. Stafford made up for a lack of tackling effort last week by cutting the ball carrier at the knees near the end zone. Stafford's second interception seemingly crushed his confidence, as the rest of his action made viewers want to avert their eyes. For the remainder of the second quarter (and a small third quarter sampling), Stafford made poor decisions, stared down receivers, was overly sensitive to perceived pressure, and threw inaccurately leading up to his third interception of the day. Stafford was then replaced by quarterback Dan Orlovsky. Coach Jim Caldwell made it clear after the game that Stafford is the quarterback in Detroit.
2015 Week 4 vs SEA (24 / 35 / 203 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Matthew Stafford and the Detroit offense struggled to find a groove early, settling for a handful of first downs and a field goal through the first half of action. Pressured consistently, Stafford managed to avoid taking any bit hits but was forced to get rid of the ball quickly to avoid defenders. The Detroit offense did find some success in the second quarter, mixing things up enough to keep the defense on-guard and taking advantage of what was working. Stafford did finally target Calvin Johnson on a couple of deeper throws later in the game, but overthrew him on one and Johnson appeared to let up on the second, seemingly catchable ball. Detroit tried unsuccessfully several times to take advantage of the pressure with screen plays and circle routes to Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah, but Stafford saw three of those passes batted down by very alert outside defenders. He was mostly on target throughout this game, and didn't exhibit the off-target throws he had in the first two games of the season. He excelled in the hurry-up offense, and Detroit nearly pulled ahead with time expiring, but a costly (and controversial) fumble at the one yard line ended the offensive series for Detroit. Ultimately, Stafford made good decisions, was on target, and made a great final drive against a very formidable defense.
2015 Week 3 vs DEN (31 / 45 / 282 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
In Detroit's first of four prime time games, Matthew Stafford had the luxury of playing at home, but the unfortunate task of facing the Denver Broncos. Following a similar theme as the first two weeks, the Broncos put significant pressure on Stafford and the offensive line. Pressured often, Stafford struggled to adjust early in the game as Denver confused the line and gave him little time to work. Sacked four times during the game, the offensive line failed to reroute protection and gave up an unimpeded sack to DeMarcus Ware that resembled the San Diego Chargers game. Fortunately, Stafford avoided the big hits that were all too common in weeks one and two. Detroit attempted to establish a ground game to ease the pressure, but their success was minimal and the defense continued to pursue. While Stafford's overall accuracy improved, two interceptions were reminders of his week two difficulties. Off target balls to Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson showcased deficits that Detroit needs to be concerned about long term. On the positive side, Stafford continued improvements by speeding up his throws and utilizing Calvin Johnson and his skillset. Once again, Stafford looked Eric Ebron's way again in critical situations and found him on at least two crucial plays. Stafford's chemistry with rookie running back Ameer Abdullah continues to grow, as the pair connected for a 16 yard touchdown reception and Abdullah was involved more in red zone and 3rd down situations. Finally, in the final two minutes of the game with Detroit down two touchdowns, Stafford failed to exploit the defense as he rushed throws, displayed erratic movement, and Detroit did little to help themselves with poor clock management.
2015 Week 2 vs MIN (32 / 53 / 286 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 20 / 0 rush)
While Matthew Stafford cut down on his interceptions and increased his passing yardage in week two, he also threw nearly twice as many passes as week one with much less accuracy. Facing a divisional foe on the road, much of the week 1 concerns bled into this Sunday's performance for Stafford. Early in the game, Stafford seemed to be experiencing residual anxiety from the previous week's pressure, as he looked uncomfortable and jittery in the pocket. While he appeared to settle down as the game wore on, his accuracy took a significant dip in the second half. Some of this could be attributed to the front line pressure he was experiencing, but many of his second half throws were questionably under or overthrown to receivers. The season-long health of Stafford has to be on the minds of the Detroit coaching staff. Stafford took a concerning hit in week one that he was nursing during the week leading up this Sunday. Against the Vikings, Stafford was roughed-up consistently and could been seen in agony after several plays. Minnesota brought relentless pressure and did well at disguising it throughout the game, causing Detroit to struggle to assess and adjust their protection. Stafford did manage to find the end zone twice during his performance ñ late in the first quarter Stafford rolled out to find Calvin Johnson in the end zone and put the ball where only Johnson could catch it. A generous helping of sideline toe-dragging by the skilled veteran benefited Stafford immensely. His second touchdown of the game came after the two minute warning in the fourth quarter when the Lions were making one last push for victory. Stafford found Eric Ebron in the middle of the field, and a shifty move to the inside followed by a dive for the end zone resulted in a 12 yard touchdown. On an earlier potential score in the second quarter Stafford did a fine job reading the defense and working through his progressions to find Tate running a crossing route on the goal line. The toss would likely have been a touchdown, but a slight tip at the line of scrimmage altered the ball's path enough to disrupt the throw and result in an incomplete pass. As for turnovers, Stafford could certainly have closed out the game with more than the one indicated on his stat line. A poorly thrown ball behind Calvin Johnson in the first quarter resulted in an interception, but was fortunately reversed due to a penalty. On several other occurrences, poor accuracy or forcing into tight coverage caused the ball to hit or bounce off of defenders that could have reeled the ball in with better timing or hands. The irony of Stafford's one interception for the day was that it was a throw that a good majority of the time just results in a batted down pass; instead, the Vikings defender blocked the ball perfectly such that he caught it on the way down. Stafford ended up being the player who tackled the ball carrier after the interception, and subsequently was rolled over and then hit in the head on the play, adding further insult to injury. Detroit did shift to a no-huddle offense at the end of the first half, and then continued it into the third quarter. This seemed to suit Stafford while it was utilized, as it coincided with him settling down in the pocket and led to a notable eleven straight completed passes. Going forward, it's something Detroit may want to consider implementing more. It's worth noting that as of Monday afternoon, there is some question about Stafford's week 3 availability due to concerns about his ribs, chest, and elbow.
2015 Week 1 vs SD (19 / 30 / 246 / 2 / 2 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
The first week of regular season action for Matthew Stafford did not go smoothly. The San Diego Chargers front seven applied regular pressure while the secondary nullified any deep action to Detroit's top two receivers. Throughout the game, Stafford successfully utilized his running backs and tight ends in the short-to-intermediate passing game, and lightly peppered in the occasional target to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. San Diego took advantage of Stafford and rattled him early. On 3rd and four, Stafford's blind-side tackle blocked down to assist perceived pressure coming from the interior. An linebacker on the shoulder of the tackle was missed and Stafford took a sack. Shorty thereafter San Diego brought outside pressure from both sides of the line, collapsing the pocket and hitting Stafford as he threw for an incomplete pass. A game changing play on Stafford occurred in the first half as San Diego sent a linebacker next to Detroit's Trips formation on the right. The defender was unimpeded, leaving Stafford no time to react. Stafford took a big hit, sending the ball vertical to be caught at the line of scrimmage by a defender for an interception. In the second half Stafford was again pressure outside of the pocket. He rolled right and threw the ball on the move wildly under-throwing receiver Golden Tate for his second interception. He later missed Tate again by a margin, which appeared to be a miscommunication between the two. While he did find the end zone twice, Stafford was out of sync with the receivers and out of his comfort zone much of the day. Much of his stat line was assisted by yards after the catch from the short routes.
Latest NewsLions | Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson go off (Thu Nov 26, 05:49 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson had a hay day Thursday, Nov. 26, against the Philadelphia Eagles. Stafford threw for 337 yards and five touchdowns, while Johnson caught eight passes for 93 yards and three touchdowns. Our View: As we expected, Stafford and Johnson both put up great numbers, though the game went sout hearlier and harder than we expected. This is what they are capable of if they could only be a bit more consistent.
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|12||vs Philadelphia Eagles|
|13||vs Green Bay Packers|
|14||@ St. Louis Rams|
|15||@ New Orleans Saints|
|16||vs San Francisco 49ers|
|17||@ Chicago Bears|