Matthew Stafford has epitomized the performance of the Detroit Lions this season, and fittingly so, given that he’s the star quarterback. Stafford had games where he looked in control where he and the Lions offense dictated the course of the game. Other weeks, Stafford looked uncharacteristically off-target and fazed by what he was presented with. By midseason it was anyone’s guess which Stafford Lions fans would get to watch on gameday.
This week, however, Stafford was hitting on all cylinders, allowing the Lions to finish the up-and-down season with a reassuring victory.
Unsung hero of the week: Matthew Stafford
Stafford finished the day Sunday 20-of-32 with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also posted a passer rating of 109.6 and mustered 8.3 yards per attempt, both his third-highest of the season and, more importantly, the highest since the Lions’ Week 7 victory over Miami.
Stafford was able to work with a clean pocket in one of the offensive line’s best performances and took only one sack on the day. With plenty of time and space to operate, Stafford looked the most comfortable he had in a long time. He was hitting on all cylinders looking sharp, putting touch on longer passes, and putting the ball where only his receivers could get it, like this stunning touchdown pass to TJ Jones.
It was reassuring, if nothing else, to see Stafford close out the year looking like his best self once more, although it seemed to have been overlooked by the equally stellar play of the offensive line, Zach Zenner, Romeo Okwara, Darius Slay, and many others. Not to mention, the most notable touchdown pass on the day came from kicker Matt Prater.
The Lions’ win Sunday was the epitome of a team effort, and, without a doubt, it couldn’t have been pulled off if bad Stafford had showed up. Fortunately however, Stafford seems to have found his groove once more, and we can only hope he can carry it into the start of next season.