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Stafford Needs To Win A Big Game

 

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has set up 4,000-plus yards in all the past four seasons. He’s thrown 43 more touchdowns than interceptions in a career that has seen him boast a relatively solid 83.6 quarterback rating.

Stafford has additionally led the Lions to the playoffs in two of the past three seasons, this season included.

He’s a former No. 1 overall pick that also holds the single-season record for pass completions.

He once set up over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns in a season.

Every one of these numbers are fine and dandy. But a very important factor is extremely hard to argue. Stafford is one of the very overrated quarterbacks in the NFL.

Blessed with the very best receiver of the modern era in the proper execution of Calvin Johnson, Stafford’s game has seen a steep decline since what was a breakout 2011 performance. He’s thrown 85 interceptions in 76 career starts and possesses a career .461 winning percentage.

A lot more than that, Stafford simply hasn’t lived up to the role of a franchise quarterback in similar situations as the one which he’s going take on Sunday from the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers with the NFC North title on the line.

On the length of his career, Stafford has posted a .379 winning percentage on the road. He’s also 13-26 in his career following the month of October. Compare that to a 22-15 record in the first 8 weeks of the growing season, and we start to realize that Stafford struggles when everything is on the line.

Now, we fully recognize that wins and losses are a group statistic. Quarterbacks are only one part of the equation, but in addition they represent the biggest part of the equation.

And since it relates to Stafford, he hasn’t held up to his end of the bargain when it counts the most.

Heading into the 2014 campaign, Stafford was 1-23 against teams that finished the growing season with a winning record. And this season alone, he’s 2-3 against opponents who are now over .500.

That is clearly a .103 winning percentage against clubs with a winning record in comparison to a .681 winning percentage against losing teams.

The numbers are horrible when we take into consideration Stafford’s performance on the road within the division during his career. Detroit has won just four of 14 outings in said games with Stafford throwing just 21 touchdowns in those 14 outings. That’s an average of 1.5 touchdowns in comparison to 1.9 in the home during his career.

For the Lions ahead out on top Sunday from the Packers at Lambeau Field, Stafford will have to choose his game up big time. He simply can’t set up the same performance to the main one he tallied on the road from the Bears last week. That’s not planning to work.

Unfortunately for Detroit, the odds aren’t in its favor heading into this all-important matchup. Stafford has thrown as numerous touchdowns (six) as interceptions for a substandard 72.8 rating in seven road starts this season.

Magnifying Stafford’s road struggles a lot more, he’s thrown three touchdowns in comparison to five interceptions for a rating of under 65 in open-air environments thus far this season. On the length of his career, Stafford has led the Lions to an 11-18 record in open-air environments.

Heading into Sunday, the stakes couldn’t be higher here. If Detroit were to get into Lambeau and win, it would earn a first-round bye and a house playoff game in the divisional round. If not, the Lions will probably visit Dallas to play a hot Cowboys team in the wild card round.

Needless to say, a loss on Sunday would do major injury to the Lions chances of coming out of the NFC and earning a first-ever Super Bowl championship.

And for the Lions to win their first game at Lambeau in nearly a quarter century, Stafford will need to up his game

 

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