Seriously, questioning Matthew Stafford’s mechanics and accuracy is just wrong. Get over it.
The Detroit Lions quarterback is scary good. Watched the NFL Network replay of Sunday’s win over the Cowboys and was even more amazed by Stafford’s accuracy and performance under pressure.
Six reasons Stafford is among the league’s best:
1. His accuracy rating so far this season is 62.4 percent. Not nearly as good as Peyton Manning (71.2) but he’s out of his mind this season. Stafford is in good company if you look at career passing percentages of some of the best NFL quarterbacks — Troy Aikman (61.5 percent), Dan Marino (59.4) and Brett Favre (62 percent). He threw at least two sidearm passes on Sunday that were completed. It's his way and it works for him. Who cares if it's not picture perfect?
2. Stafford is second in total passing yards this season with 2,617, second of course to Peyton Manning (2,919). Stafford is on pace for his second 5,000-yard season in five years. He came up 33 yards short last season when the team was 4-12.
3. His ratio of touchdowns to interceptions also excels. He’s thrown 16 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Five of those interceptions have come on tipped balls. He’s on pace for 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions which is the same exact number Scott Mitchell had in 1995 when the Lions had the NFL’s top-rated offense. (Scary thought, eh?)
4. Stafford’s average of 42.2 attempts per game this season is more than any other quarterback with a winning record. Only Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon and Matt Ryan average more attempts and they shouldn’t even be on the chart.
5. He’s 25 — he’s just getting started. He won’t be 26 until five days after the Super Bowl.
6. His guts, toughness, preparedness and football smarts can’t be measured on any chart. If there was any doubt about any of these four I ask you to re-watch the game-winning drive on Sunday. It was all there. In the heat of the battle, with no time-outs left, he knew to target safety Jakar Hamilton who was on Kris Durham. Hamilton had been elevated from the practice squad the previous day. When the opportunity presented itself Stafford made the gut decision to go for the quarterback sneak. That was the play that stood out, but it was Stafford’s 488 passing yards to get to that point that were the most amazing.