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Notes: Matthew Stafford was the second-best ‘tight window’ QB in 2019

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No separation? No problem.

New York Giants v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

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.

Given that the Detroit Lions happen to have a set of receivers that struggle to get separation—but also thrive in contested catches—Stafford’s skillset is welcome here in Detroit.

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.

(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.

  • Just in case you thought we were Fake News yesterday, here is proof Jeff Okudah signed his contract with the Lions.
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life changing moment.

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  • Speaking of Okudah, he’s the MAN:

... and he’s not very happy about his Madden rating, even as the top-rated rookie cornerback.