Thanks in part to interim head coach Darrell Bevell letting Staff cook, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is up for the NFL’s Week 13 Air Player of the Week.
Against one of the best defenses in the NFL, Stafford set a season high with 402 passing yards and three touchdown but with one interception. It was Stafford’s 10th-highest total of passing yards in his career and the first time he’s gone over 400 yards in over a calendar year.
Stafford is up against the Browns’ Baker Mayfield and the Raiders’ Derek Carr. Here’s how their Week 13 performances match up to each other.
Matthew Stafford: 27-of-42 for 402 yards (9.6 Y/A), 3 TDs, 1 INT, 109.4 passer rating
Baker Mayfield: 25-of-33 for 334 yards (10.1 Y/A), 4 TDs, 147.0 passer rating
Derek Carr: 28-of-47 for 381 yards (8.1 Y/A), 3 TDs, 1 INT, 97.9 passer rating
Mayfield is almost certainly going to win for a bunch of reasons. First and foremost, the four touchdowns stand out in a fantasy-obsessed world, but he also plays for the best team of the three and legitimately had a better day, as evidenced by his completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating.
But let me make a quick case for Stafford. Stafford had the second-highest PFF grade of the week (93.9), falling just short of Aaron Rodgers’ mark (96.9). Mayfield came close (91.1) but Carr is not even in the same conversation (71.3).
And while Mayfield finished with more yards per attempt, Stafford was, by far, the more aggressive thrower on Sunday. His average intended yards (12.9) was essentially double Mayfield’s (6.5), and Next Gen Stat’s aggressiveness index had Stafford’s day at 21.4% to Mayfield’s 6.1%.
All of that is to say that Mayfield’s statline is boosted quite a bit by yards after the catch. Of Stafford’s 402 passing yards, only 68 of it (16.9%) was gained after the catch. Mayfield, on the other hand, had 189 of his 334 yards (56.6%) come after the catch.
Of course, this is all nitpicky for my clearly biased opinion. But vote Stafford to indulge me anyways. Vote here.