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Matthew Stafford says Lions fans’ support ‘means the world to me’

Stafford said he felt the Lions fans’ support and felt it was a true testament to the kind of people they are.

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford is an NFL champion after orchestrating a game-winning drive inside the last two minutes of Super Bowl 56.

Detroit Lions fans have gone through a range of emotions over the Los Angeles Rams’ playoff run. For some, watching Stafford—a quarterback they staunchly defended for 12 years in Detroit—finally win a Super Bowl, it was vindication. For others, who wish he would’ve done more to bring a title to the Lions, it has to be frustrating to see him raise the Lombardi for another team—especially when it came in his very first year outside of Detroit.

But as our poll showed before Super Bowl kickoff, a large majority of Lions fans were supporting Stafford in the title game—80 percent according to our very unscientific poll.

That support did not go unnoticed to the former Lions quarterback. In a post-game interview with NFL Network, Stafford acknowledged that he sensed that support throughout his entire postseason run.

“Yeah, I really could. It was amazing,” Stafford said. “Like you said, there’s no reason for them to cheer for me anymore, and the fact that they did was just a true testament to who they are as people, and who they are as fans.”

During Stafford’s undefeated postseason, he played some of his best football. In four games, he completed 70 percent of his passes for 8.5 yards per attempt, nine touchdowns, three interceptions and a 108.3 passer rating. And while the Super Bowl wasn’t his best performance of the postseason, his game-winning drive featured some big-time throws, including this jaw-dropping no-look pass to Cooper Kupp.

And as the confetti rained down on Stafford, his wife and his four daughters, he reflected on his time in Detroit and how that fan support from miles away.

“To have that support all the way across the country here playing in this game, it means the world to me and my wife, my family. They helped us through a bunch of tough times and are a huge reason I’m sitting here today.”