In defense of Stafford


#1

Great post over on Reddit. Basically comes to the conclusion that Stafford, while not elite, is still the best option we have.

https://www.reddit.com/r/detroitlions/comments/9zt4s9/in_defense_of_matt_stafford/?utm_source=reddit-android


#2

The problem is that it’s not about getting a “better” QB than Stafford. It’s about getting better bang for your buck.

Mahomes is, for example, taking up 2.1% of his team’s cap. Stafford is at 15% of the cap. Stafford will be higher next year.

Also, not all stats are created equally. I’d start to look at Stafford and see where those stats are coming from. A ways back (in another place) I did some analysis of Stafford v. Cousins (with DC) it was off the page where Cousins was throwing downfield and Stafford was mooching off the YACs of our petite back phase (thankfully over with KJ, Blount and Zenner). None of the QBs who are “as good” as him had Calvin Johnson or anything like him at any point in their career. Ryan, maybe, I suppose, had good/better receivers.

I try to stay away from comparisons, though, since it’s a lot of apples v. oranges. I look at what he can and can’t do.

I strongly question Stafford’s touch. I strongly question Stafford’s accuracy and placement. I also question his ability to choose the right play. You notice there aren’t a whole lot of slants and crossing patterns? Seems like most of his passes are vertical or horizontal and they all fly out of there like a cannon. Yeah, great, he can hit passes through small window.

I’m still hella upset about 2013’s choke job. I have no faith in him to get the job done.

I get the same feeling I got when Scott Mitchell dropped back to pass. I’m just waiting for the pick 6.

I’m so bored of watching “scramble back heroically, maybe make it happen, maybe just come up short”.

Stafford is a tease. He’s fool’s gold.

You’re not going to get someone elite if you keep hanging on to “good enough”.

I’d rather roll the dice. It’s not like we’ll lose that many more games.


#3

What is a bargain QB? Almost every starting QB not on a rookie contract makes more than 15 million per year (with most making over 20 million).

So yeah, I would prefer a better QB, because as great as Mahomes is playing for cheap, in two years the Chiefs are gonna have to pony up to something like Stafford is getting. But will actually be more if he continues to play well.


#4

Mahomes is on a rookie deal of course he’s cheaper. He’s going to get $35M a year as soon as that deal is up.

That’s a ridiculous argument.


#5

Stafford is the leader of this offense and he’s making buku bucks, so it’s quite natural and deserved that he gets the most credit when things go well and most of the blame when they don’t. You expect a guy making that kind of bread to be making plays to win games instead of losing them, but he’s not getting it done. To my untrained eye, he’s not playing consistently well, but it’s also true that just about everybody else on that offense isn’t either. EVERYBODY is making mistakes, both major and minor that leads to dysfunction.

He doesn’t have the speed or the quickness to extend plays as often as a guy like Rodgers does, nor does he have quite the accuracy of a Brees or Brady, which pretty much means he’s gotta have a lotta help to make this team successful. AND maybe a better offensive system with a better OC running the show. Game after game at least lately, I see Stafford under pressure that is quite a bit more than the other QB faces against our defense. So why doesn’t he get the ball out sooner more often? Well they tried that, and it worked against Carolina but not so much against Chicago, who knows the Lions very well especially after playing them in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. They know who we are and what we do and so it’s damned hard to beat a pretty good defense under those circumstances.

Romo was talking about using more misdirection during the telecast, but in some ways that requires enough time for those things to work successfully. Problem is that many times the Lions don’t have enough time for those plays to develop. The other problem he noted was the lack of separation by the Lions receivers; guys just don’t get open often enough, and with Tate gone and Marvin not playing that does make it more difficult to be consistent.

So, it’s pretty much everything; Stafford, the pass pro, the problems getting separation, injuries. Doesn’t help when KeJo isn’t playing either, but it is what it is. One thing we do know is that Stafford isn’t going anywhere for at least 3 more years; given some better players on offense he can make the more successful, but the problem is that the Lions have tried to do that at the expense of their defense and it hasn’t worked out.


#6

I’m pretty sure he was mainly talking about pre-snap.
He stated that the Lions stand still pre-snap. There is not a lot of movement.

The one “legal” pick play that Chicago ran, does anyone in Detroit have an offensive imagination like that? I have not seen anything close to that from the Lions.
We hear talk about how the Lions receivers can’t get separation but we don’t see a solution in play calling to get separation. Chicago creates separation from design.


#7

Have you every really looked at New Orleans? Payton knows offense. He knows what he needs for his offense and his QB to function at an elite level. He gets what his QB and offense needs.

I know you don’t need me to remind you of any of that, but in contrast to Brady where everyone thinks an elite QB can make everyone around them elite, we see Brees who is allowed to be elite by an excellent offensive-minded coach. They don’t let that OL slip for a moment because they know that when it does, Brees will fail.

Between play-calling, personnel and protection, I honestly don’t believe Drew Brees would have this team any further along than Stafford this year. In fact, I think he’d be much closer to retirement.

If Stafford isn’t mobile (he isn’t) AND since you’re giving him 30 mil of cap, you darn well better get the most out of him and build a stinking pocket. After 3 years of building, we have our Center (Ragnow) to show for it. Quinn has to do better. If it’s another change at coaching, make the change. If it’s new Tackles, so be it. If it’s new Guards (at least 1 is obvious) then do it. He has a window and better get out ahead of this thing.


#8

All you need to ask yourself is, do you see Brady, Brees, Rodgers or Ben lock on and throw that pick 6? No, of course not, they’re elite and Stafford isn’t… BUT, you don’t see Wilson, Ryan, or Luck throwing that pass either. He is what he is, a Carson Palmer/Kirk Cousins type QB, and his salary is what those QBs cost. He’s going to need a great defense and the right system to succeed.


#9

We always remember that Stafford had Megatron. What seems to get lost is that most of the time Nate was injured and Durham was the #2 with nobody behind him to speak of, and we have had a run game only one season prior to now.
The right side of our Oline couldn’t keep my grandmother out of the backfield, right now…and she’s dead!
Matt’s sacks aren’t because he’s indecisive. It’s because his receivers can’t get separation.
I’m over believing Matt is elite, but, he is a top ten QB.


#10

It’s getting him cheap for a few years that creates the bargain. Even if you pay him more, you’ve got a few years of an extra 13% of the cap to build the team with.

You build the team, make your mistakes with DL and OL.

Then all of a sudden you have a strong defense and run game such that you could win with Mark Sanchez (who has 4 road playoff wins under his belt).

It’s not just about the QB. It’s about building a team. Paying a QB top dollar the whole way through is not a good plan. If he played like a top 3 QB, you might have a strong argument, but Stafford is nowhere near top 3.


#11

If cheap great QBs were a dime a dozen, your argument would hold water. But since they are extremely rare and hard to find, coupled with most starting QBs make a lot, your idea is not as easy to do as just doing it. This isn’t daily fantasy football.


#12

It may be what those QBs cost, but do you win championships with them? Or does paying the price for them end up costing you in the depth you need to win?

It’s not so easy to just say “oh well, that’s the market”.

You have to find bargains and paying top dollar for a tier 2 (this year more like tier 3) QB is not a winning formula. You have to dare to do better.

I think it’s generous to say Stafford is Cousins or Wilson or Ryan. (Ryan, by the way, is making 5% less of the cap than Stafford is this year and will make less next year)


#13

Define “extremely rare”. I think it’s a little self-serving to say that… 2 of top 10 QBs (by rating) are on their rookie contracts. At one point this season, I saw 4.

And it’s kind of circular. As long as most teams play it safe and go with the “established” guy, there won’t be shots for guys.

Does Tom Brady get a shot if Bledsoe doesn’t get hurt? I think no. They JUST paid Bledsoe huge when he got hurt. He was the starter forever if he’s not hurt.

Also, Stafford isn’t top tier (or are you arguing that?) I think it would be much more likely to find a cheap 2nd tier QB than a cheap great QB. The only problem is that you have to take a chance, which most GMs and coaches are afraid to do because if they’re wrong…


#14

Exactly. His accuracy (especially on passes that aren’t vertical) limits what you can do. They say he can “make all the throws” to mean he can throw deep and into tight windows, but I remember plenty of WTF looks going all the way back to Reggie Bush.

I think they shy away from the routes that allow separation to occur naturally because they’re dangerous with Stafford. When he misses deep, it’s just an overthrow. When he misses a slant, it’s a pick 6.


#15

If they win this year or next, is it ridiculous?

I’d pay Stafford 95% of the cap the following year if we win the super bowl, but not before.


#16

Does he elevate the payers around him?

At this point TEN YEARS IN, that’s a no.

He is having a regression year. No doubt.

Has he ever been a top 5 QB in any season? Once…maybe?

Have we won jack shit in ten years? Nope.

TEN YEARS.

He is what he is; a big arm gunslinger kinda lunkhead. He is better than what is available, but not good enough to elevate the franchise. Thats not all on him, but for what he can control, he hasnt been good enough to overcome his own or this franchise’s flaws.

You put him on Pittsburgh or another stable top level franchise, he could win it all. But so could Rivers or Cousins or Luck etc.

This is why they have to either have a top level run game or defense, because a Stafford led passing offense, even with a Megatron or Tate simply isnt going to get it done.


#17

Actually, it’s like 28 years and like once in like 61 years.

Oh, and I believe Marvin Jones and Golden Tate had career years with Stafford throwing to them.

But carry on.


PFF on Turkey day performance
#18

I don’t see Matt as Carson Palmer/Kirk Cousins/Andy Dalton type. He reminds me more of the pre-super bowl Brett Farve sorta QB. Wonder if we could bring him in as QB coach/consultant to help Matt. Brett had his playmakers, but he took some time getting there. His journey might help Matt figure some stuff out.

When Farve was on he could be amazing. When he was off, he could make my mother (a Packer fan) swear. Matt sometimes has that affect on me.


#19

Favre really isn’t a bad comparison. When they won in 1996 they had the #1 overall defense.


#20

Favre would be a great role model, especially if we want to prevent Stafford from playing for a divisional rival if we ever let him go…