Looking Back At Matthew Stafford’s Career Best (So Far) 2017 Season.
In the 2016 season,Matthew Stafford led the Lions to an NFL record eight fourth quarter comeback wins and a playoff birth. This, coupled with signing what was at the time the biggest contract in NFL history, caused sky high expectations for Stafford going into last year.
Not only did Stafford meet those expectations, in many ways he surpassed them. Stafford set career highs in yards per attempt (7.9), and passer rating (99.3) while also throwing the fewest amount of interceptions in his career (10). He also threw for 4446 yards and 29 touchdowns while completing 65.7% of his passes.
And, while the Lions missed the playoffs, Stafford did led them to a respectable 9-7 season, their third winning season in four years (Stafford has started every game with a 36-28 record over that time).
Over the first six games of the season, Stafford was up and down, throwing four touchdowns in week one, but finishing with a quarterback rating of 81.2 or below in three of the six. His stats in these games were 1428 yards, 12 touchdown passes, 4 interceptions, but while completing just 60% of his passes at only 6.3 yards per attempt for a quarterback rating of 88.9.
With the Lions passing offense stumbling out of the gate, they only managed to go 3-3 over the first six games, losing winnable ones to Atlanta, and New Orleans. However, after the week seven bye, Stafford’s play was phenomenal through the end of the season.
Over the last 10 games, Stafford threw for 3018 yards, 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, with a 69.1% completion percentage and a passer rating of 106.2 and yards per attempt of 8.9. Projected over a whole season, this would be on pace for 4829 yards 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Over these last 10 games, the Lions had a record of 6-4 and Stafford was only to a quarterback rating below 91.4 twice (against the Vikings and Bengals, both top 10 pass defenses).
So, despite barely missing out on the post season, the Lions were not held back by Matthew Stafford in 2017. Rather, he ascended the offense to become arguably the best deep passing team in the entire NFL.
After three consecutive season in which Stafford has thrown for over 4000 yards, at least 24 touchdowns, completed at least 65.3% of his passes and had a quarterback rating of at least 93.3, there is no question as to whether or not he is an elite quarterback in the NFL.