Matthew Stafford was a big part in the Detroit Lions’ comeback victory on Thursday against the Minnesota Vikings. On the Lions’ game-tying drive in the final minutes, Stafford led the team to a 10-play, 68-yard drive from their own 2-yard line. On that drive Stafford went 5-7 for 62 yards for an average of 8.9 yards per attempt.
The performance from Stafford earned him co-honors with Darius Slay and Matt Prater for CBS’s All-Iron Award after the game. But it also earned the respect of his opponents. The CBS crew caught video and audio of Stafford’s embrace with Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph in the seconds after Prater’s game-winning kick and here’s what happened:
At the end, you can hear Rudolph clearly say, “You’re the best thing to ever happen.” Presumably he means “to the Detroit Lions” although the audio is obscured by Stafford thanking Rudolph for the kind words.
UPDATE: Rudolph clarified what he said on Twitter to us, and it turns out the message to Stafford was much more personal, but still extremely classy:
Matthew's wife is pregnant with twin girls, I told him "they will be the best thing that's ever happen" to him. https://t.co/m2rOu4m2Mc— Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph82) November 26, 2016
That’s a classy move from the Vikings tight end considering it was in the immediate aftermath of an excruciating loss for Minnesota. In an era where player feuds dominate headlines, it’s nice to see someone like Rudolph recognize and respect a great player like Stafford.