While typically the embodiment of calm, cool, and collected, Matthew Stafford offered some edgier comments following the Los Angeles Rams’ victory Sunday afternoon.
Detroit Lions fans know No. 9 is not known for spicy words. He’s never really made headlines for controversial takes. He’s not one to stir up trouble in the NFL. Loss after loss, Stafford stood at the podium for post-game pressers and calmly answered questions. For years and years. And years.
So Lions fans may have been surprised by some fiery comments following the Rams’ 11th-hour win after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mounted a 24-point comeback. Final-moment wins are nothing new to the former Lions quarterback who has led 43 game-winning drives in his career, but Sunday’s high stakes apparently brought out an extra edge.
For context about this clip, in the final seconds of the game, Stafford threw a 44-yard bomb to Cooper Kupp down the middle of the field, then spiked the ball to stop the clock so Matt Gay could kick the game-winning field goal.
Matthew Stafford with one of the most revealing answers he’s provided all season that provides great insight into the competitor that he is. On his emotional spike that setup the game-winning field goal: pic.twitter.com/aD2S016mjh— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) January 24, 2022
“I’m glad they didn’t flag me for spiking it there,” Stafford said. “All the guys on the sideline were like, ‘Man, you were in a dark place.’ And I said, ‘Sometimes you gotta go to those places, you know? Make some plays happen. I was enjoying the moment. In my mind, I live for those kinds of moments. I would’ve loved to have been taking a knee up three scores but it’s a whole lot more fun when you’ve got to make a play like that to win the game and just steal somebody’s soul. That’s what it feels like sometimes when they’re sitting there saying, ‘Man, we just had this great comeback.’ And you get to reach in there and take it from them. That’s a whole lot of fun.”
A dark place??? Steal somebody’s soul????? Who is this guy?? Turns out a second playoff win can bring out a side of Stafford rarely seen. Following his NFC Championship win, I’m half expecting a full blown heel turn. Hahahah, just kidding. (But ..like, what if??)
And onto the rest of your notes.
- No doubt this offseason is absolutely critical in the Lions’ rebuild. What would the ideal offseason roadmap look like? The Detroit News’ Justin Rogers takes a crack at it. ($)
- Do you recall how suddenly in the second half of the season, the offense seemed to finally start clicking? Detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman explains how the stats prove first-year tight ends coach Ben Johnson’s passing attack strategy made a big impact.
- “I was one of the first reporters to call for Jim Caldwell’s dismissal as the Detroit Lions’ coach. But when reports surfaced that Caldwell is one of the favorites for the Chicago Bears’ job, I thought there was no one else I would like to see get that job more than him.” An interesting opinion piece from the Freep’s Carlos Monarrez on Caldwell’s impact on the Lions and why he should head to the Bears.
- I’m a sucker for a good Baldy Breakdown:
.@RamsNFL Stafford to @CooperKupp for the biggest throw & catch of the season . One of best seasons ever between a QB/WR gets to play another week #playoffs #nfl #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/Zeo9O36yz8— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) January 24, 2022
- The NFL divisional round games offered a lot of “firsts” when it comes to playoff history. One example — the Chiefs became the first team in postseason history to allow a go-ahead TD in the final 15 seconds of regulation and still win the game.
- Finally, Stafford’s former teammate Dan Orlovsky had some choice words for the ‘doubters.’