Joe Lombardi: Matthew Stafford is not an “interception machine”


The 2013 season didn’t end especially well for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

In his final eight starts, Stafford had as many interceptions (13) as touchdowns (13). Overall, he finished with 19 picks, and his interceptions-to-attempts ratio was the worst it has been in any of his seasons with 16 starts.

However, after watching film of Stafford’s picks in 2013, Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi came away with the feeling that the quarterback wasn’t an “interception machine,” Lombardi told reporters on Friday.

Lombardi, who was previously the Saints’ quarterbacks coach, noted that some interceptions couldn’t be pinned all on Stafford.

Stafford’s career numbers support the idea that he’s not exactly mistake-prone.

In five NFL seasons, Stafford has thrown 109 TDs and 73 interceptions in 2,497 attempts in a pass-first scheme. His talent is obvious, and that’s why his occasional shortcomings draw so much attention.

However, Stafford just turned 26 on Friday. There are quite a few teams who would happily take Stafford as-is, and there is a reason why Detroit signed him to an extension last year.

The promise of what Stafford could become is also one of the primary reasons the Lions’ offensive coordinator role looks so appealing on paper. In January, Lombardi told Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports that Stafford wasn’t “broken” and that the quarterback’s talent was considerable.

In short, there have been worse situations for a new offensive boss to inherit.

29 responses to “Joe Lombardi: Matthew Stafford is not an “interception machine”

  1. When Detroit gets another good WR to go along with what they already have, and Lombardi coaching him up, he’ll have a heck of a year, fantasy players pay attention…

  2. Keep on babying him and sugarcoating his short comings, the more of the same will be expected. I remember that interception against the Ravens wow, and this guy is paid like an elite QB. SMDH

  3. He’s more like a guy that has robbed a broken ATM machine that spewed out ridiculous amounts of money. I wish somehow the money could be reclaimed, he doesn’t deserve very much of it. The Front Office is broken because they pay several players every year big bucks that aren’t worth that money. Fix the stuff that’s broken, but to do that you have to focus at the TOP where all the garbage is seeping through the organization. This team has a lot of potential and it’s a great job for any coach or manager, but it’s still very unnecessarily ugly and hopefully they clean up this monstrosity soon.

  4. He is 24-37 as a starter.

    In his defense though, he did go to the worst team in the history in the NFL so it takes time to get over that hump.

    Going 7-9 with the division served on a platter last season, is deffinetly a red flag though.

  5. Once Manning and Brady are gone it’ll be interesting to see who the top 5 QBs are. Aaron Rogers isn’t walking through the door. I don’t see how extending Staff was a mistake.

  6. Stafford is the most overrated QB in the NFL. And don’t give me that “he needs more WRs” bull. A QB that is as hyped up as Stafford is shouldn’t need a stacked WR core to do something. Brees and Brady would kill on that lions team.

  7. I’ve watched enough Lions games to have a firm opinion on Stafford. From my perspective, he wilts under pressure

  8. Dude is not exactly a cerebral QB.

    Turnovers get you beat in this league, he doesn’t seem to understand that.

  9. “Joe Lombardi: Matthew Stafford is not an ‘interception machine’.”

    A ringing endorsement if there ever was one.

  10. Stafford is the most overrated QB in the NFL, without a doubt. He plays in a pass heavy offense, but he is still out there making rookie mistakes. Without Calvin Johnson, he would be exposed for what he is; a turnover machine who often chokes in crucial moments.

    On the upside; Stafford is still young and still has the potential to grow into a star QB. He also still has Calvin Johnson, who could probably make Blaine Gabbert look like a stud. Well, maybe any QB outside of Gabbert, that might be pushing it.

  11. It’s kind of funny reading all these comments.

    Truth is, close to half of those 19 picks were not even Stafford’s fault. As they were catchable balls that recievers let go through their hands.

    Yes he did make some bad throws, but everyone wants to act like every pick was a poor decision.

  12. He’s in the wrong system. The can’t get any type of run game going for him to take some pressure of him and his receivers. He’s got good talent to throw to but has a below avg line (as a whole) and could use one if these fancy “every down” backs.

    I think he is built for the run it, run it, screen pass, run it, run it, 30 yd pass game and he’s stuck in a poor mans Denver scheme.

  13. Stafford is like Luck. Good, accurate passers, except sometimes, they made some throws that made me shake my head!!!

  14. I have watched Stafford play quite a bit and the biggest problem is a lack of consistency in his play. Looks good in some series and awful in others. Misses open guys on easy throws and then fires a near impossible pass with total accuracy. That has to be focus and maturity. You have to bring it on every play, every series, every game in order to be an elite quarterback. He is being paid like an elite qb, so he needs to step it up and be good on every play.

    I also don’t buy the argument that “all of those interceptions are not his fault”. Trust me, he had another 10-interceptions that were dropped by defensive backs and another ten that his own receivers knocked loose.

    He needs to grow mentally as a player and make that commitment or he will continue to play as he has.

  15. Joe Lombardi: Matthew Stafford is not an “interception machine”

    Translation: Matthew Stafford is an “interception machine.”

  16. Everyone loves to cite wins as the ultimate QB stat. Since entering the league in 09 Stafford has had the 32nd, 19th, 23rd, 27th, and 15th best defenses in points allowed.

    Contrast that with Joe “the Winner” Flacco who has had the 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 12th, and 12th best defenses in points allowed. How about Russell Wilson? He’s had the 1st and 1st ranked defenses in points allowed since entering the league.

    Gee, I wonder why Flacco and Wilson win more games? Maybe only having to scored 2 TDs and a FG makes it easier on a QB than having to score 4 TDs every game? Just a hunch.

  17. The thing I admire most about Joe Lombardi is that he has not traded on his name. He has started at the bottom and worked his way up, learning from some outstanding coaches on the way. My guess is that he will be a successful head coach some day, even if he does not make people forget which “Lombardi” the trophy is named for.

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