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2017 Detroit Lions roster review: Matthew Stafford became a top 5 quarterback in 2017

Why Matthew Stafford is an elite quarterback now.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Our 2017 roster review will reexamine the Lions’ roster and how it played out last season. We’ll take a look at expectations, performance and potential role in the future.

Today, we continue our discussion with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Matthew Stafford

Expectations before 2017

After a 2016 season that saw Stafford in the MVP talks for much of the year before his hand injury, hopes were high that Stafford would come back in 2017 and have an even bigger year, especially since the expectations that Stafford would be safe behind a shiny new offensive line.

Actual role in 2017

2017 stats: 16 games (16 starts) 371-565 for 4,446 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions

PFF Grade: 83.3 (13th of 39)

Stafford was not safe. In fact, he was sacked 47 times, that’s second in the league and the most of Stafford’s career. You would expect that any normal quarterback’s season would be shot at this point, but Stafford proved in 2017 that he’s anything but normal.

Alright, settle in, because we’re going to do something a little different with Stafford’s roster review. Because football fans will fight the idea of Matthew Stafford being elite more than any quarterback in the NFL, we’re going to drop all of Stafford’s 2017 stats right here and show you where they rank in the NFL. Here goes.

  • 371 completions. (3rd)
  • 4,446 yards. (3rd)
  • 7.87 yards per attempt (6th)
  • 29 touchdowns. (4th)
  • 10 interceptions. (18th)
  • 65.7 completion %. (6th)
  • 99.3 rate. (6th)
  • 43.8 deep ball completion %. (3rd)
  • 20 sacks avoided. (1st)

So as you can see, Matthew Stafford was top five or six in every major statistical category in the league. He did all of this with the 32nd ranked run game and an offensive line that got allowed him to get sacked more than all but one quarterback. If you still think Stafford isn’t elite, I honestly don’t know what to tell you anymore.

Outlook for 2018

The outlook is and should be positive for 2018, but the Lions have to help this guy. If Stafford can have a run game and can stay off the turf, we’re talking about a guy that can still be better. And I’m not sure Matthew Stafford has even played his best football yet.

Tom Landry used to say that things don’t really slow down for a quarterback till he gets to his 30s. Matthew just turned 30 earlier this month. He’s already shown that he’s supremely talented in his first nine years. You have to believe he’s only going to get better. And it’s because of Matthew Stafford that Lions fans everywhere should be very excited for the 2018 season.

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