Matthew Stafford gets credit for a lot of things. I mean, maybe not in a dumb video game that hasn’t changed anything in a decade, but he’s actually got a fairly good reputation among people not obsessed with QB wins. Whether it’s his reputation as a fourth-quarter comeback machine or his monster arm, Stafford has received plenty of praise, especially as of late.
One aspect of his game that occasionally gets criticized, however, is his accuracy. It was the big knock on him coming out of Georgia (57.1 completion percentage in college), and it has never truly been one of his stronger suits even at the next level.
And while Stafford’s overall accuracy last year wasn’t necessarily anything to write an entire article about—his completion percentage of 64.3 ranked just 16th in the NFL in 2019—it was his ability to fit balls in tight windows that made him special last year.
NFL’s official “Next Gen Stats” tracked the most efficient quarterbacks when throwing tight-ball passes—which they define as pass attempts in windows of less than 1 yard—and Matthew Stafford ranked second best in the NFL. Using the metric Expected Points Added (more on that statistic here, if interested), Stafford produced a barely negative figure (-0.06), putting him among some seriously talented passers from last season.
Lamar Jackson was the only qualified quarterback to finish with a non-negative EPA/attempt on tight window passes last season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) July 10, 2020
The top 5 most efficient quarterbacks when targeting receivers with less than 1 yard of separation:
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And just because I don’t need an excuse to post this highlight, let’s all reminisce about this throw—one of Stafford’s best career passes.
This is the best throw in the NFL this year. Stafford fit it between 4 defenders pic.twitter.com/lnbENIwilB— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) September 29, 2019
(P.S. - Get well soon, Isaac.)
- Earlier in the offseason, Lions linebacker Christian Jones said he was postponing his wedding until next year. It looks like they figured out a workaround (he had noted he may do a courthouse wedding this year), as it appears Jones tied the knot over the weekend at a “micro-wedding:”
- Erik Schlitt has an interesting article about how the Lions are in a favorable position to weather the salary cap storm that could happen over the next few years due to millions of dollars of lost revenue amidst the pandemic.
- In case you’ve been missing our PODcast on Twitch, we’re going to start putting them up on YouTube, as well! Here’s the latest episode, which was recorded on Monday night. (You can subscribe to our YouTube channel here)
- ESPN beat writers listed the veteran player most likely to be cut for all 32 teams. Michael Rothstein’s choice for the Lions? Let’s just say he’s making a transition this year.
- Just in case you thought we were Fake News yesterday, here is proof Jeff Okudah signed his contract with the Lions.
- Speaking of Okudah, he’s the MAN:
CB Jeff Okudah will feel right at home in Coach Patricia's man coverage scheme— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) July 14, 2020
Among NCAA CBs since 2014 (min 25 targets in man):
347 COV snaps - T-8th
84.0 COV Grade - 7th
22.6% of targets earned 1st Down/TD - T-10th#Lions were 1 of 3 teams to run man 50%+ of the time in 2019 pic.twitter.com/2J7P0izNEj
... and he’s not very happy about his Madden rating, even as the top-rated rookie cornerback.