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Matthew Stafford: I care about wins, not stats

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Getty Images

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had a breakout season in 2011, with 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns, but his production has declined in 2012. Stafford, however, says he doesn’t care about that.

I’m not worried about stats,” Stafford told the Detroit News. “I am worried about winning. That is the biggest thing. When quarterbacks play really good, their team has a chance to win. But I know the only thing that’s going to make it better is to keep working hard.”

The issue, however, is that Stafford’s stats are a reflection of the quality of his play, and as the quality of Stafford’s play has declined, the Lions’ record has declined. It’s great for a player whose stats are good to downplay the significance of his own stats in an attempt to deflect the credit to his teammates. It’s not so great when a player whose stats are declining while his team’s record is declining to act like stats don’t matter.

The bottom line is that Stafford isn’t playing as well this year as he did last year, and his stats and the Lions’ record both reflect that. His completion percentage is down, his yards are down, his yards per attempt are down, his passer rating is down and his touchdowns are way down. The only stat where his numbers haven’t declined is the one stat where you want your numbers to decline: He has thrown six interceptions, putting him on pace to match last year’s total of 16.

Stafford’s slump has raised concerns in Detroit, but he says there’s nothing to worry about that.

“There is a lot of football left,” Stafford said. “We obviously haven’t started the way we wanted to, but there are 10 games left. Ultimately, I feel like quarterbacks are judged on wins and losses.”

Whether quarterbacks are judged on wins and losses, touchdowns and interceptions, or passing yards and passer rating, Stafford hasn’t been as good as he was last year. If the Lions are going to turn their season around, he needs to play a lot better.

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43 Responses to “Matthew Stafford: I care about wins, not stats”
  1. flyeredup says: Oct 25, 2012 2:45 PM

    He’s the Cowardly Lion. No courage.

  2. 11wheatd says: Oct 25, 2012 2:45 PM

    It’s a lose-lose situation for him. You guys rip on him for saying he only wants wins. “It’s not so great when a player whose stats are declining while his team’s record is declining to act like stats don’t matter.”

    But if he says he’s pissed about his stats, you’d guys rip on him about being selfish.

    I’m not even a Lions fan either.

  3. gochargersgo says: Oct 25, 2012 2:47 PM

    Sucks for him then.

  4. sowcrates says: Oct 25, 2012 2:50 PM

    Being shut out for 59 minutes and 30 seconds is a stat

  5. jjb0811 says: Oct 25, 2012 2:55 PM

    The DB’s have been terrible for ages and the coach & GM never spent higher than a 3rd round pick on them.

    All of his high picks go to injury prone RB’s and they’re not playing.

    Their team is continually arrested.

    The coach has been propped up as genius and winner yet he really doesn’t have much of a record to stand on.

    It’s a formula for losing.

  6. klunge says: Oct 25, 2012 3:02 PM

    Good cliche, but in your case bad stats leads directly to not winning. One first half TD in 6 games typically means you are being outscored. Being outscored usually leads to a loss. Unless you are the Seahawks. Which makes this game even more challenging for you Matthew!

  7. cwhat32 says: Oct 25, 2012 3:04 PM

    People forget he’s only 24. 1 year older than Cam and Luck, and younger than Locker, Tebow, and Dalton.

  8. droop says: Oct 25, 2012 3:05 PM

    I’m calling them the Detroit Kittens from now on

  9. fievel03 says: Oct 25, 2012 3:14 PM

    jjb0811 speaks true. Any time one of their late-round draft picks or overpaid free agents performs well, the Lions’ management becomes satisfied and that level of satisfaction turns into T. Problem is, that’s one or two games and those DBs eventually turn into the backup-level talent they actually are. Then the Lions’ management becomes arrogant saying they have the men they want. THAT is the Lions DB Mantra as it has been for the past 20+ years. And THAT is why the Lions Defense has continually let opposing offenses run clinics on them game after game.

    This formula has GOT to change.

  10. hikohadon says: Oct 25, 2012 3:14 PM

    Unfortunately for you, Matt, stats and wins seem to go hand-in-hand.

  11. skyslimit87 says: Oct 25, 2012 3:18 PM

    Well he must not give a whole lot….they only have 2 wins

  12. mintberrycrunch1 says: Oct 25, 2012 3:21 PM

    @droop

    I’m calling you not clever from now on.

  13. conormacleod says: Oct 25, 2012 3:25 PM

    The Lions overplayed last year and got themselves 10 wins. Now, they have a schedule for a 10 win season. They simply are not that good. Quick, name me the Lions runningback. Ok, now name me a WR not named Johnson. How about a d-back? Tight end? They are a 6-10 or 7-9 team with that “talent”. Welcome back to reality Detroit.

  14. juanhughjazz says: Oct 25, 2012 3:34 PM

    He’s playing well enough to win. Unless you think he’s greasing up the football before he hands it off or throws it. And he probably shined a light into Logan’s eye on that fair catch. QB stats are team stats. This last weekend, the Lions fumbled 6 times. And they dropped countless passes(two were likely TDs). He should be lauded for not passing blame(or sulking)

    He could play better, but he’s not a major factor in why they’re not winning.

  15. hieveryone12345 says: Oct 25, 2012 3:35 PM

    I can’t figure the Lions out, last year they final make the playoffs, but his year they look like they did in Stafford’s rookie season. I like Matthew Stafford as a quarterback, but I don’t think this Lions team will ever win the Super Bowl with the current players they have right now.

  16. jeffchadwick says: Oct 25, 2012 3:47 PM

    To be fair, when one has a cadre of receivers with a horrible case of the drops and running backs who can’t hang onto the ball in the red zone, it’s hard to place the blame entirely on the quarterback.

  17. ravens4lifeudig says: Oct 25, 2012 3:50 PM

    I don’t know if u clowns saw that mnf game. The bears linemen was in the backfield before he could read the field. Expect him to have at least 4sec. To throw. My just shut up. Who cares bout yards w’s count way more. Rite on matt rite on

  18. rmc1995 says: Oct 25, 2012 3:59 PM

    Stafford could have the exact same stats and have a 5-1 record. Sure he would have liked to throw 2 more TD passes against the Titans, but he would be just as happy if the special teams didn’t give up 2 TDs. The same can be said against the Vikings. He would have loved to throw 2 TDs against the Bears, but he would have been happy settling for field goals rather than two fumbles in the redzone.

    All of these games were winnable, and in a team sport it’s important to understand wins can come from many places than stats, and those who play the game in reality rather than fantasy understand this.

  19. peytonsneck18 says: Oct 25, 2012 4:04 PM

    They need a bonefide #2 reciever and db’s

  20. klunge says: Oct 25, 2012 4:06 PM

    I’m not an apologist for Mayhew and Schwartz, but I’m tired of fellow fans continuing to beat the same old drum about neglecting the defense, the DBs suck, etc…while the facts show the defense has improved every year. In fact they have only allowed 9 TDs this year so far and are permitting an average of 15.6pts per game. With an offense that produced 26.4pts per game last year, that’s plenty good enough defense to win, except the offense isn’t playing up to par and ST unit has killed them. There’s legit criticisms to be levied against managment, but poor defense at this time is not one of them.

  21. dino2997 says: Oct 25, 2012 4:08 PM

    Stafford is right. He does try to win rather the spike up his personal stats. Take a look at their own division. The Packers have only one less loss having lost to the Seahawks and Colts. Why? Because Rodgers tries so hard to be careful with the ball rather then taking chances to win the game. He would rather lose then lower his personal stats.

  22. ninerdynasty says: Oct 25, 2012 4:10 PM

    Sounds like him and Alex Smith are becoming good friends.. lol

  23. oimakkamio says: Oct 25, 2012 4:11 PM

    The Lions have been in every game they have played in besides 1. They could easily be 5-1 or 0-6. Bottom line the cast around him needs to get better. Teams have taken Megatron out of the equation early, and when Stafford has gone to other recievers its a crap shoot if they are going to catch it, if they do catch it is a crap shoot if they hold on to it. Bottom line is defense has been sound. Not great but good enough to win. The Special Teams cost em 2 games, and the Offense has played well late in games. The aggresiveness is gone from last year, and until they figure that out, or get someone not named Stafford, or Johnson to step up on that offense its going to be close 50/50 if they win or not. Really hope they give Broyles a chance.

  24. hehateme2 says: Oct 25, 2012 4:12 PM

    The Hello Kittys have a long way to go before they are considered a good team.

  25. wgray981 says: Oct 25, 2012 4:13 PM

    I know you guys need content for the blog, but this is not news. When was the last time you heard a QB say he cares more about stats than W-L?

  26. sal11 says: Oct 25, 2012 4:22 PM

    @conormcleod

    “The Lions overplayed last year and got themselves 10 wins. Now, they have a schedule for a 10 win season. They simply are not that good. Quick, name me the Lions runningback. Ok, now name me a WR not named Johnson. How about a d-back? Tight end? They are a 6-10 or 7-9 team with that “talent”. Welcome back to reality Detroit.”

    Two problems here: one, you don’t exactly have to be a die-hard to know of Mikel Leshoure, Titus Young, Brandon Pettigrew, etc. And two, I cane name everyone on the 1997 Patriots, but it doesn’t mean they’d win me any games this year.

  27. mjkelly77 says: Oct 25, 2012 4:29 PM

    If the Lions just had a special team unit that was average, they’d be 4-2, maybe 5-1. it’s just that close even with stafFORD not playing that well.

  28. okieviacal says: Oct 25, 2012 4:41 PM

    I think its clear that the Lions over-performed last season and that they’ve under-performed this season. Things went their way more often than not last season and this season has been the opposite.

    They’re much better than their record and their performance this season, but we can’t deny the mistakes and poor play. Figure it out, Lions!

  29. bobhk says: Oct 25, 2012 4:45 PM

    mjkelly77 says:
    Oct 25, 2012 4:29 PM
    If the Lions just had a special team unit that was average, they’d be 4-2, maybe 5-1. it’s just that close even with stafFORD not playing that well.
    ——–
    Wait, they don’t have a good special teams, they have a QB playing badly, they have WR supposedly best in the league who’s not caught a TD in many games. Yep, this is the makings of a 5-1 team. Schnartz is very overrated.

    With that said, I hope they beat the snot out of seahags and stinky pete.

  30. bmosh99 says: Oct 25, 2012 5:01 PM

    @conormacleod. The Lions overplayed last year and got themselves 10 wins. Now, they have a schedule for a 10 win season.

    This statement would suggest that you think they still base the schedule on the previous years record. The schedule is on a rotation and has been since 2002.

  31. thetokyosandblaster says: Oct 25, 2012 5:17 PM

    It doesn’t really matter what he wants. He can’t win and he can’t get stats.

    And to the idiot who says he makes throws to win that Rodgers won’t make because Rodgers is concerned with “stats,” perhaps you don’t understand football.

    If Rodgers made stupid throws he’d be giving the other team a better chance of winning.

    Rodgers > Stafford

    Packers > Rest of the NFC north

    And just so we are clear:

    SF Giants > Chokelander

  32. ripster65 says: Oct 25, 2012 5:24 PM

    What difference does it make? He’s not getting either this year.

  33. db105 says: Oct 25, 2012 5:36 PM

    If we oversimplify everything to wins and losses does that mean Ryan, Cutler, and Schaub are the best QBs?

  34. cmdv8 says: Oct 25, 2012 6:06 PM

    @fievel03:
    they only let chicago score 13 pts not bad but when your offense can only score 7 you cant win like that nobody can. offense is the issue and coaching for sure

  35. quiksilverguy619 says: Oct 25, 2012 6:08 PM

    as a lions “fan” I will say his stats do blow this year. but so do everyone else’s on the team. can anyone catch a pass? how many TD passes has Pettigrew dropped? even Megatron? Everyone has stone hands this year. our RB should develop more and more but since our o-line blows he probably won’t get very far. So in my opinion…they need to revamp the o-line, and fire the o-coordinator, the play calls have been atrocious!! lions go 6-10 this year

  36. rmc1995 says: Oct 25, 2012 6:11 PM

    Many seem to ignore that 4 of 6 games have been on the road. Two have been prime time games as visitors against two of the best defenses in the league. It’s nice to see expectations are so high for Stafford, but a little perspective would make sense before calling his season a disappointment.

  37. cannonballdookie says: Oct 25, 2012 6:32 PM

    When your team is built around the passing game and has a lousy run game and average D, your QB needs to step up and play above average, not good enough to win. He hasn’t done that and they’ve lost plenty of games. Period.

  38. crazycane says: Oct 25, 2012 6:38 PM

    So Cam gets ripped left and right and this guy gets a pass from everyone even though his team made the playoffs, still has a helluva D front 7 and has the best WR in the NFL to throw too?

    What’s the one difference between the two…..

  39. kev86 says: Oct 25, 2012 6:43 PM

    Stafford, Sanchez, Freeman not comparing to Eli, big Ben, Rivers very well.

  40. otis52gsh says: Oct 25, 2012 6:48 PM

    Stafford isn’t really that good. Last year the lions were a very lucky team. This year people are shutting down # 81, and he has no clue other toss it up to the big guy on how to be a great QB. He is average at best, just like 15-20 other starting QB’s in the league. Middle of the pack at best, but third best in the NFC North.

  41. hor2012 says: Oct 25, 2012 7:42 PM

    Lions fans don’t panic. I’m a Saints fan. The frist year SP came to New Orleans the Saints went to the NFC Championship game the next two years they didn’t make the playoffs. There’s a simple reason the Lions are struggling this year. They are considered one of the big boys. They’re taking everybody’s best shot. Now, I’m not saying you don’t have any holes. But, this team will win a Super Bowl in about three years. You have a good young QB a beast of a WR and you don’t need a work horse running back. On defense I may be crazy but I don’t think you’re that bad. You have a good team.

  42. bluenoser23 says: Oct 25, 2012 10:11 PM

    Stafford looks like a bloated pig. Seriously. He needs to lose some weight and cut out the donuts. He is out of shape.

  43. cmdv8 says: Oct 26, 2012 12:03 AM

    @bluenoser23:
    seriously? “big” ben is much larger and he has been to three superbowls but im sure you have a flawless fazike like most internet gangsters do

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