When you think of the top QBs in the NFL, your mind probably goes to Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, or Josh Allen. While all of them are fine players. some QBs still go under that radar even though they’ve been around for 10+ years. One of them is the Rams’ Matthew Stafford who helped lead the team to a win in Week 16 vs. the Saints.
Stafford was in Detroit for 12 seasons and they didn’t accomplish much as a team. He made the playoffs in three times with the Lions. Ahead of the 2021 season, the Rams traded for Stafford and he won a Super Bowl in his first year with Los Angeles. Year after year, Stafford continues to play at a high level and proves that he’s more than just a serviceable QB. The 35-year-old is one of the most under-appreciated QBs in the history of the NFL.
Matthew Stafford is a no-doubt Hall of Famer whenever he retires
In 2012, Calvin Johnson set the NFL single season record with 1,964 receiving yards. His QB was Matthew Stafford.
In 2021, Cooper Kupp had the second most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history with 1,947. His QB was – and still is – Matthew Stafford.
Puka Nacua… pic.twitter.com/sg0whgea75
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 22, 2023
In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Lions selected Matthew Stafford as the first overall pick out of Georgia. Detroit was a competitive team with Stafford as their QB, but they were never able to get over the hump. Still, the 35-year-old is a legend for the Lions and had some incredible seasons over his 12 years with Detroit. Stafford helped Calvin Johnson set the single-season record that still stands with 1,964 receiving yards.
Johnson was far and away the best WR that Stafford played within 12 seasons with the Lions. However, he helped Cooper Kupp become the AP 2021 Offensive Player of the Year with the Rams. Kupp had 1,947 receiving yards that season, the second-most in a single season. Only Calvin Johnson had more. Stafford was the QB for both of those players. A coincidence? Definitely not.
Is this the best season we’ve seen from Matthew Stafford? 🐏 pic.twitter.com/fxH99z505K
— PFF NFL Podcast (@PFFNFLPod) December 22, 2023
It doesn’t end there with Stafford. He continues to elevate the players around him. Cooper Kupp was on the IR to start the season for Los Angeles. While he was out, rookie WR Puka Nacua showed that he has WR1 potential. Stafford and himself have had an incredible connection this season and Nacua could make NFL history. He needs 147 receiving yards over his final two games to set the rookie record for most receiving yards in a season. Matthew Stafford quickly became comfortable with Nacua this season and they’ve been a great pairing in 2023.
No matter who the player is, Stafford has the ability to get the most out of the talent around him. He’s been incredible over his 15-year career and the Rams look like a dark horse in the NFC playoff race. After a win on TNF in Week 16, Los Angeles is currently sixth in the NFC. They still have two games left in the regular season. Both are road games. One vs. the Giants and one vs. the 49ers.