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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

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 24): We can't blame Calvin Johnson's absence, in fact we don't really have any excuses for Stafford's drop in level of play and production. His schedule down the stretch (CHI TB @MIN @CHI) is great, but right now playing Stafford is taking a leap of faith.

Week 13: vs Chicago Bears

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Detroit (7-4) is on a two-game skid coming into this divisional showdown, and are now chasing 8-3 Green Bay for the NFC North title - meanwhile the Bears (5-6) are fighting for their playoff chances and are on a two-game winning streak. Detroit is 4-1 at home and they host the first of two showdowns with Chicago at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions' offense is in a deep funk, with zero TDs (rushing or passing) over the last two games played - Calvin Johnson last caught a TD vs. Miami back in Week 10. With only 183 yards passing at Arizona and 264 yards passing at New England (with one interception thrown per game) Matthew Stafford has been short-circuiting his fantasy owners' lineups lately. One bright spot for Detroit is Golden Tate (11 targets for 4/97/0 receiving at New England last week) who has gone over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career (72/1,047/3 receiving on the season so far). He's well ahead of Calvin Johnson's mediocre 38/578/3 receiving total. The Bears' pass D gave up 25/48 for 301 net yards passing, one TD and two interceptions (with five sacks for -40 yards) to last year's backup quarterback in Chicago, Josh McCown - two games ago, they coughed up a more modest 18/28 for 147 net yards passing, one TD and one interception to Teddy Bridgewater and company (with two sacks for -11 yards). This year, their average net passing yards allowed, 260.5, is on the low end for NFL defenses (28th in the NFL), while the 25 passing scores surrendered to date is second-most in the NFL behind the Jets' 27 allowed. The Bears' pass D is bad enough to provide a tonic for Stafford and company - we think the home-team Lions hold the edge in this phase of the game.

Recent Stats and Projections

10 vs MIA 25 40 280 2 1 2 -1 0 0
11 at ARI 18 30 183 0 1 0 0 0 0
12 at NE 18 46 264 0 1 3 18 0 0
13 vs CHI PROJ-Dodds 26 37 * * * 2 * * *
13 vs CHI PROJ-Tremblay 21 34 * * * 3 * * *
13 vs CHI PROJ-Bloom 24 38 * * * 2 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 10 vs MIA (25 / 40 / 280 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)

In the early going, it was a controlled game plan for the Lions offense and Matthew Stafford. The impact of Calvin Johnson's return was felt throughout the game, including the Lions' first touchdown of the game. Stafford slide from pressure in the pocket, then found Johnson one-on-one for a long touchdown as Detroit raced out to a 10-0 first quarter lead. Stafford logged an interception on another Calvin Johnson deep target. A slightly underthrown pass, plus the athleticism of Brent Grimes made the highlight reel play in the end zone. In typical Detroit fashion, Stafford and the offense mired through the middle of the game with untimely penalties, allowed pocket pressure, and Stafford misfires. In the closing minutes, Stafford was given the ball, down 16-13. Two off-target throws led to a three-and-out. Stafford did get one final opportunity with three minutes to play. This time, the Detroit offense took advantage. Stafford hit Calvin Johnson on a deep out route to get into Miami territory. On third down, Stafford made his throw of the game, rolling out and hitting Theo Riddick down the sideline for the game-winning red zone touchdown.

2014 Week 11 vs ARI (18 / 30 / 183 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Stafford and the Detroit offense had a tough matchup against the Cardinals stingy defense in Arizona and the game played out as such. The Cardinals bolted out to a 14-0 within the first 10 minutes of the game. The Lions stayed balanced on offense, but Stafford and the passing game struggled to string together successful plays. As has been a trend for the Lions this season, they squandered long drives and took untimely sacks. In the first half Stafford contributed his fair share of mistakes including staring down Calvin Johnson on a should-have-been interception returned for a touchdown and missing a wide open Johnson on a deep post route. The latter was a likely long touchdown and at minimum another field goal opportunity. Even staked with the ball in the red zone following a defensive interception before the half, Detroit's offense stalled once again for a 14-6 deficit. Stafford started off the second half with a bold strike to Calvin Johnson on a post route. Instead of setting the tone for a different result over the final 30 minutes, it was more of the same from the first half. Stafford hesitated against tight coverage multiple times in key moments and inaccuracy plagued the potential comeback effort. Stafford floated a pass into double-coverage for an easy interception and overthrew Calvin Johnson on a single coverage deep route for good measure. A well-covered fourth down attempt with seven minutes to play followed by a sack and fumbled snap with three minutes to play capped off Detroit's game drives. Even with Calvin Johnson and Eric Ebron back in the lineup, Stafford was off his game, reactive to pressure, and unable to deliver accurate passes into tight windows consistently against Arizona.

2014 Week 12 vs NE (18 / 46 / 264 / 0 / 1 pass, 3 / 18 / 0 rush)

The checklist for winning in the NFL on the road against a tough opponent is rather simple: Win the turnover battle, protect the passer, optimize red zone opportunities, and get off to a fast start. The Lions offense struggled in all of those areas this week in the road thumping at New England. Stafford dealt with consistent pressure, receivers dropping contested passes, and faltered in the red zone throughout the game. Tight coverage was the norm as Calvin Johnson was neutralized, which has caused Stafford to go into a shell in previous weeks. Detroit trailed 24-6 at half with the game getting out of hand with 10 minutes to play. Three red zone drives in the first 30 minutes resulted in just three total points. When Stafford did have a clean pocket, at least half the time he threw the ball away after scanning the field. Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron, and Jeremy Ross each had two hands on a long gain, which they could not haul in. There were glimmers of hope in the second half as Stafford made a highlight reel connection to Johnson on a deep out route on third-and-long in addition to converting a fourth down to Eric Ebron. Neither resulted in a touchdown drive, however, as Detroit did not find the end zone all game. The final blow to the Lions' chances was Stafford scrambling in the open field on fourth-and-10, only to slide down in front of the marker. With 11 minutes to play, the game was essentially over. Stafford threw in an interception as he was hit with six minutes to play for good measure. The Lions get an opportunity to rebound on Thanksgiving with the short week, but were soundly defeated by the Patriots in Week 12.


Latest News

Lions | Up-tempo offense helps Detroit (Fri Nov 28, 01:31 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and the offense operated at quicker pace in their Week 13 win over the Chicago Bears Thursday, Nov. 27, and they were able 474 yards of total offense. Stafford went 34-for-45 for 390 yards and two touchdowns, and he appeared much more comfortable in the offense. His 75.6 completion percentage was the fourth best of his career. Stafford was also at his best against the blitz, completing a career-high 14 passes for a career-high 200 yards.

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Lions | Detroit's offense inconsistent (Tue Nov 25, 01:10 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford had the worst completion percentage in his career in Week 12 against the New England Patriots at 39.1 percent), and the Lions haven't rushed for a touchdown since Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. They are tied for 21st in the league with six rushing TDs all year. The Lions have been held without an offensive touchdown in the last two weeks for the first time since 2000. Detroit is fifth in the league in time of possession (32:11), 10th in passing yards per game (257.73) and 12th in yard margin per game (plus-29), but they are outside the top 15 in all other major offensive categories.

Our View: The inconsistency on offense is having a trickle-down effect on fantasy owners. No longer is the team going to light up the scoreboard. The Lions are content playing strong defense and doing just enough offensively to get the win. That dips the fantasy potential of all assets in that offense.
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Lions | Matthew Stafford struggling on deep ball (Fri Nov 21, 06:21 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford, who is currently on pace to finish with the fewest passing yards in a single season for his career, has struggled on deep-ball connections, especially in the last two weeks with WR Calvin Johnson returning. Stafford has completed only 14 percent of his passes at least 20 yards downfield to Johnson the last two weeks, and he's thrown an interception on deep targets in each of the pair's four full games together. Stafford is also struggling in the face of pressure this year, with his completion percentage under pressure dropping from 42 percent last year to 34 percent in 2014, his lowest since 2010.

Our View: He's locked onto Calvin Johnson as well, targeting him 27 times in the last two weeks, which is 12 more times than he did the next guy (Golden Tate). So part of his issues could be that his tendency to lock onto Megatron is making it easier to disrupt those passes. Stafford will have a good production day—we have him as a low-end QB1—but mostly because we expect the Lions to have to come from behind against a good Patriots defense, so he will have to throw a ton.
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Lions | Matthew Stafford breaks record (Mon Nov 17, 12:47 PM) - Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford passes 20,000 career passing yards in Week 11, to become the faster quarterback in NFL history to reach that mark. Sunday's game was just Stafford's 71st career game. Dan Marino previously held the mark in 74 games.

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Detroit Lions Team Links

Depth Chart      Season Stats      Targets      Red Zone      Game Logs

Staff Dynasty Rankings

QB Dynasty - 7, 4, 5, 10, 13
Overall Dynasty - 47, 39, 61

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13vs Chicago Bears
14vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
15vs Minnesota Vikings
16@ Chicago Bears
17@ Green Bay Packers