Matthew Stafford set a record on Sunday by becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to lead eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in a single season. Against the Chicago Bears, he cheated a little bit. The Lions led the entire game until Stafford threw a bad pick-six, giving the Bears a four-point lead with over seven minutes left.
But that’s when true fourth-quarter Stafford took over. From there, he led Detroit on a seven-play, 76-yard drive that ended in an impressive scramble, truck and touchdown from Stafford.
Here’s a recap of all of Stafford’s other seven game-winning drives:
After giving up the go-ahead score with just 37 seconds left, the Lions had to get into field goal position from their own 25-yard line with three timeouts left. Stafford went 3-for-4 for 40 yards and gave Matt Prater the chance at a 43-yard field goal, which he easily nailed for the win over the Colts.
After a Darius Slay forced fumble gave the Lions good field position down two against the Eagles with 2:34 remaining, Stafford did a good job giving Prater a chip-shot field goal. A huge completion to Golden Tate on third-and-4 put the Lions in the red zone, and Prater again was true from 29-yards for the field goal.
In a shootout with the Los Angeles Rams, Stafford had a short field and tie game with five minutes remaining to deal with. He responded by milking all but 1:29 off the clock and gave Prater another easy chip-shot field goal.
This is where GOAT Stafford started to kick in. Washington had just scored a touchdown with 1:05 left to take the lead, making Skip Bayless think Kirk Cousins picked up a game-winning score. But Stafford drove the Lions 75 yards in just 49 seconds for the game-winning score and his fourth comeback of the year.
This game was lost. The Lions were down three to the Vikings with just 23 seconds left, but then Stafford led not one, but two huge drives. First, he threw a 27-yard bullet to Andre Roberts to set up the game-tying score. Then in overtime, Stafford was nearly perfect, completing five of six passes including the flip-inducing touchdown score from Golden Tate.
On the Stafford comeback scale, this was a two out of 10. The Lions trailed only by three with over 13 minutes remaining. Stafford immediately led the team on seven-play, 79-yard drive to take the lead, then followed it up with an insurance field goal drive, pushing Detroit’s lead over Jacksonville to 26-19.
On Thanksgiving against the Vikings, Stafford led the Lions on a crucial game-tying drive by going 10 plays for 68 yards that ended with a 48-yard field goal with 1:45 left. His game-winning drive consisted of a single kneel down, thanks to a timely Darius Slay interception. Sometimes we need help from our friends.