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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: Matthew Emmons, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Sep 28): Stafford actually wasn't bad at all against a very tough pass defense. If the Lions loosen up the Lombardi system to feature Calvin Johnson and get Joique Bell off of the field, he could flirt with QB1 status again. He 's not an ideal starter for fantasy with Seattle on the road this week, but he's not droppable yet.

Week 4: at Seattle Seahawks

All QB vs SEA

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Matthew Stafford managed 31/45 for 282 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions thrown vs Denver last weekend - Calvin Johnson (13 targets for 8/77/0 receiving) and Theo Riddick (10 for 8/66/0) were his top options last week, while Golden Tate (seven for 5/57/0), Eric Ebron (five for 4/61/0) and Ameer Abdullah (five for 2/19/1) were also prominent in the passing mix for Detroit last week - Stafford doesn't lack for quality targets as you can see. The Seattle pass D is ranked second in the NFL averaging 186.0 net passing yards given up per game, with three TDs given out vs. zero interceptions (last in the NFL) and six sacks so far (tied for 12th in the NFL). Chicago had no luck throwing the ball against the Seahawks in Seattle last weekend - 9/17 for 48 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions was the final tally for the Bears' passing attack last week. Stafford is way better than Jimmy Clausen, but this is still a tough road game for the Lions at vociferous CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Recent Stats and Projections

1 at SD 47 19 30 246 2 2 1 -1 0 0 18.2
2 at MIN 78 32 53 286 2 1 4 20 0 0 23.3
3 vs DEN 78 31 45 282 1 2 1 -1 0 1 14.4
4 at SEA PROJ-Dodds * 24 38 * * * 2 * * * *
4 at SEA PROJ-Tremblay * 25 40 * * * 2 * * * *
4 at SEA PROJ-Bloom * 26 41 * * * 3 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

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 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 News

Lions | Detroit's offense struggling (Thu Oct 1, 05:32 PM) - The Detroit Lions and QB Matthew Stafford have the No. 27-ranked offense in the league after three weeks, averaging only 305 total yards per game. The Lions' rushing offense is currently last in the league and is averaging just 45 yards per game. The passing game is ranked 12th at 260 yards per game.

Our View: We'd like to see the Lions be more creative as an offense. Stafford needs more plays where he lets his playmakers have a chance to make big plays downfield. Right now, the Lions offense is boring and predictable. Perhaps more Ameer Abdullah would help shake things up.
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Lions | Deep passes lacking for Lions (Tue Sep 29, 04:05 PM) - Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson has only been thrown to deeper than 15 yards three times since the third quarter of Week 1. On the season, QB Matthew Stafford has only made 14 attempts of passes 15 yards or more. 'There [have] been routes that have been called that are deep routes and those kinds of things,' head coach Jim Caldwell said. 'Sometimes it just doesn't happen.'

Our View: The Lions didn't have any time to set up deep passing against a fierce Broncos pass rush on Sunday night. Going forward, this team needs to find a way to jump-start the passing attack. Stafford needs to throw up some deep shots to Johnson so they'll connect but also at least to keep the defense honest.
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Lions | Matthew Stafford looking for past success (Tue Sep 29, 12:06 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford has posted a quarterback rating of 100 or better in just eight of his last 51 regular season games. He had 10 games with a 100-plus rating during the 2011 season.

Our View: Stafford has been banged up and under duress this year. The Lions need to protect him better and start being more creative when using talented players like Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and Ameer Abdullah.
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Lions | Matthew Stafford ready to roll (Sun Sep 27, 07:36 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (ribs) is active for the Week 3 game against the Denver Broncos. He was listed as probable on the injury report.

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Lions | Matthew Stafford listed as probable (Fri Sep 25, 04:14 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford (ribs) practiced in full Friday, Sept. 25, and is probable for Week 3 against the Denver Broncos.

Our View: Stafford is still not a good start against maybe the most relentless pass rush in the league so far this year. The Broncos have made Joe Flacco and Alex Smith look very rough, and Stafford might not fare much better.
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More News

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4@ Seattle Seahawks
5vs Arizona Cardinals
6vs Chicago Bears
7vs Minnesota Vikings
8@ Kansas City Chiefs
9--- BYE WEEK ---
10@ Green Bay Packers
11vs Oakland Raiders
12vs Philadelphia Eagles
13vs Green Bay Packers
14@ St. Louis Rams
15@ New Orleans Saints
16vs San Francisco 49ers
17@ Chicago Bears