If you somehow hadn’t moved on from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff yet—even after the Detroit Lions defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round on Sunday night—perhaps these postgame comments will close the book on your allegiance to the former Lions first overall pick.
Stafford had a very uncharacteristic exchange with MLive reporter Kory Woods. In an effort to not take anything out of context, here is the full transcript of Woods’ question and Stafford’s answer.
Woods: “Sean McVay was up here and he said he was happy for Jared Goff and whatnot due to their time together. You’ve been here in Detroit for your first 12 seasons, how do you feel about the city of Detroit now?”
Stafford: “I’m happy for the players. Happy for those guys.”
Here’s the video of the exchange, courtesy of Woods:
Rams HC Sean McVay said he was happy for his ex-QB Jared Goff. I asked Matthew Stafford if he's happy for the city of Detroit, seeing as how he played his first 12 seasons here: "I'm happy for the players." pic.twitter.com/K738IcmkyD— Kory E. Woods (@KoryEWoods) January 15, 2024
Now, it’s entirely possible Stafford thought the question was about the Lions players, but he was pretty clearly asked about the city of Detroit, not the players. It doesn’t take much inference to suggest that Stafford didn’t want to talk about his feelings about Detroit, because he felt slighted.
At the very least, his short, seemingly inauthentic response was lame.
Are there reasons for Stafford to feel slighted? Sure. Maybe he didn’t like being greeted with boos and “Jared Goff” chants when he took the field Sunday night. Maybe he’s miffed that the team didn’t offer his wife a suite at the game. Maybe he’s annoyed by the Stafford jersey ban that wasn’t even a real thing. Maybe it’s just pent-up frustration from losing the game and a 12-year up-and-down relationship with Lions fans during his time in Detroit.
And to be fair, Stafford did give a more thorough, mature response when asked about Jared Goff and said the booing didn’t bother him.
"I'm happy for him. I thought he played excellent today."— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) January 15, 2024
Matthew Stafford had nothing but nice things to say about Jared Goff and Detroit's faithful fans
: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/zDdq5NkFnj
Regardless, this is an odd reaction from a veteran quarterback who almost always says the right thing in press conferences to avoid drama. Maybe I’m misperceiving his intentions. Maybe he was just caught up in the moment. But Stafford should be better than this.