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Thursday open thread: Is Matthew Stafford a top 5 quarterback right now?

Matthew Stafford has had an excellent start to the 2016 season, but is he now among the elite?

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford finished the 2015 season with some of the best statistics in the league. In the last eight games of the season, Stafford completed 70 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions. That streak set several franchise records, but because of the weak strength of schedule, many doubted whether Stafford had truly taken that extra step under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

However, if the first three games of the Detroit Lions’ 2016 season is any indication, Stafford’s transformation was real. Heading into Week 4, Stafford is completing 67.5 percent of his passes, has seven touchdowns and just two interceptions. His 8.2 yards per attempt number is the highest of his entire career and is an entire yard per attempt higher than his excellent 2015 season.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Is Matthew Stafford a top five quarterback right now?

My answer: Statistically, it’s basically undeniable that Stafford is playing at or near a top five level. He is fourth in yards per attempt, sixth in passer rating, sixth in completion percentage. He ranks fourth in Football Outsiders’ DYAR, seventh in DVOA, and fifth in ESPN’s QBR.

Matthew Stafford may still need to prove his worth over better NFL defenses, but I think he has proven that this level of high play isn’t just a fluke. At this exact moment, I don’t think there are five other quarterbacks I’d take over Matthew Stafford.

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