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QB Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions

6-2, 225Born: 2-7-1988College: GeorgiaDrafted: Round 1, pick 1

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Photo: Jeff Hanisch, US Presswire

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From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Dec 15): Stafford and the entire Detroit passing game was a disappointment against the Vikings, but Week 16 brings the generous Bears defense if Stafford's owners were able to survive his dud.

Week 16: at Chicago Bears

Mark and Joe say: Great matchup. Matthew Stafford (34/45 for 390 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown) and Calvin Johnson (16 targets for 11/146/2 receiving) blew up against the Bears on Thanksgiving Day en route to a 34-17 victory. Golden Tate also saw double-digit targets (ten for 8/89/0) as the Lions stomped the Bears that day. Since then, Stafford hasn't thrown an interception and the Lions have collected a 34-17 win over Tampa Bay (26/34 for 311 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions) and a 16-14 squeaker (17/28 for 153 yards passing, one TD and zeo interceptions thrown) over Minnesota. The Lions' passing attack is on a roll with 15 targets for 12/211/1 going to Johnson over the past two weeks; 12 for 11/88/1 flowing to Tate; and 11 for 9/91/1 landing in Joique Bell's arms. It's all good for the Lions' offense right now. The Bears' pass D is not good, with 29/36 for 360 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown by Drew Brees in Chicago on Monday night, after Tony Romo lit them up for 21/26 yielding 203 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions two games ago. That's eight TDs allowed and zero interceptions generated by the secondary over the past three games for those keeping score at home (the New Orleans and Dallas games both went down in Solider Field, by the way). Uggh. Advantage, Detroit.

Recent Stats and Projections

12 at NE 18 46 264 0 1 3 18 0 0
13 vs CHI 34 45 390 2 0 0 0 0 1
14 vs TB 26 34 311 3 0 3 -2 0 0
15 vs MIN 17 28 153 1 0 1 2 0 0
16 at CHI PROJ-Dodds 24 37 * * * 3 * * *
16 at CHI PROJ-Tremblay 23 36 * * * 3 * * *
16 at CHI PROJ-Bloom 21 33 * * * 2 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 13 vs CHI (34 / 45 / 390 / 2 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Stafford had six touchdown and six interceptions over the past five games and desperately needed a 'get well' game. This week against the Bears certainly qualified as he completed a season-high 76% of his passes and carved up the poor Chicago secondary for 8.7 yards-per-attempt. The first drive was not an optimistic start as Stafford missed Calvin Johnson on a third down side-armed attempt with a clean pocket, but once Detroit's passing game found its rhythm, they were difficult to stop. Detroit trailed 14-3 late in the first quarter thanks to Stafford being stripping inside the Lions 10-yard-line. Stafford began to dominate with deep strikes to Corey Fuller, Calvin Johnson, and Golden Tate in the second quarter. Stafford capped off the half with a fade touchdown to Johnson to take a 24-14 lead. Despite the early off-target pass or two, Stafford was 22-for-26 with 275 yards and a pair of touchdowns at the half - a career highlight-worthy 30 minutes of play. The Lions passing game was mostly held in check as they maintained their lead through the second half. Stafford just missed a back shoulder touchdown to Calvin Johnson which would have padded his overall performance. With the Buccaneers' woeful secondary coming to Detroit next week, Stafford has an excellent chance to build upon the strong Thanksgiving day performance.

2014 Week 14 vs TB (26 / 34 / 311 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / -2 / 0 rush)

The middle of the season was a rough stretch for Matthew Stafford with Calvin Johnson in and out of the lineup in addition to Stafford's own hit-or-miss play. Against Tampa Bay, Stafford continued his hot play of late (the great matchups have certainly helped). Stafford eluded pressure early in the game, converting two third downs by moving from the pocket and delivering strikes to Joique Bell and Joseph Fauria. While Stafford's mobility has been an improvement this season overall, he is still not a good straight-line runner. On third-and-one Stafford took off with what looked to be an easy first down opportunity, but was tracked down from behind by a lineman. One of Stafford's most impressive throws on the day did not light up the stat sheet. On an outlet route to Reggie Bush, Stafford had no angle or window as Bush's entire body was blocked by a defender. Stafford side-armed the pass into a non-existent window for the short gain, which served as a reminder of his natural arm talent. Stafford was 17-of-21 at the half as more game-manager than big player creator. In the second half, Stafford switched modes and Detroit ultimately pulled away for the home win. Stafford hit Calvin Johnson for a 53-yard bomb early in the third quarter in addition to a touchdown strike to Joseph Fauria on third down in the red zone. Stafford was not able to elude Tampa Bay's pressure in the second half with untimely sacks and hesitation in the face of tight coverage. The Vikings and Bears the next two weeks offer quality matchups to continue Stafford's two-game stretch of strong performances.

2014 Week 15 vs MIN (17 / 28 / 153 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)

Despite the home win against the Vikings, it was a rough game for Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. The entire compliment of weapons was back at Stafford's disposal, yet the Lions squeaked by on two second half field goals and holding the Vikings scoreless over the final 30 minutes for the victory. Stafford's accuracy was spotty at best early as he missed an open Jeremy Ross rolling out of the pocket and back-pedaled from pressure as he airmailed another third down opportunity. Stafford and the offense were staked in field goal range twice with Minnesota turnovers, resulting in two scores, including an easy pitch-and-catch to Golden Tate on an out route. Stafford was tracked down as he scrambled from the pocket on third down, squandering the second of those red zone chances with a field goal. Despite 58 passing yards at the half, Detroit trailed only 14-10. Stafford heated up in the third quarter with quality throws to Calvin Johnson down the seam and Golden Tate on a deep out. In the mid-third quarter tackle LaAdrian Waddle left with an injury and did not return. Stafford's time in the pocket decreased as a result. The Bears and Packers offer optimistic passing game matchups to close the season, but Stafford's scattershot accuracy and footwork must improve to take advantage.


Latest News

Lions | Matthew Stafford peaking (Tue Dec 9, 05:50 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford has completed 75.9 percent of his passes, thrown for 701 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in the last two weeks against the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I feel good. I feel confident in what were doing and I think the guys in the locker room and on offense definitely feel confident in what our game plan is each week, Stafford said. Were doing a great job of going out there and trying to execute. Guys are catching the ball, which is always great.'

Our View: Stafford is peaking....but he's doing it against bad competition. The Bears and the Bucs aren't exactly tough defenses to play against.
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Detroit Lions Team Links

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QB Dynasty - 6, 4, 9, 11
Overall Dynasty - 47, 30

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16@ Chicago Bears
17@ Green Bay Packers