Matthew Stafford’s come a long way since last matchup with the Cardinals

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Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford signed a massive contract extension recently, which might not have been the prediction of anyone who was at the team’s game against the Cardinals on October 11, 2015.

Stafford got benched in the third quarter after throwing his third interception on a day that ended with the Lions losing 42-17 to fall to 0-5 on the season. With the Cardinals on the schedule in Week One, Stafford was asked on Wednesday to reminisce about that day.

“I was frustrated just like any player would be, any competitor would be, ’cause, shoot, I’ve been in that situation a bunch of times and thrown some touchdowns and brought us back,” Stafford said, via the Detroit Free Press. “I mean, it’s frustrating, but at the same time you understand where your coach is coming from, you learn from it and you move on.”

The Lions promoted Jim Bob Cooter to offensive coordinator a couple of weeks later and Stafford has completed 66 percent of his passes with 50 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in the 27 regular season games since the benching. He had 28 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in his first 21 games under head coach Jim Caldwell.

Caldwell called it “absolutely irrelevant” to connect that game with anything that’s happened since then.

“If you’re inferring that it had anything to do with the benching, I’d tell you no,” Caldwell said. “I’d tell you no because the guy is the same guy. Same drive, same will. It doesn’t mean he’s going to always have a perfect game, but Matthew’s a pretty special individual.”

Be that as it may, but the Lions are 16-11 in the regular season since that game and Stafford’s play has been a major reason why the team’s found more success. One game may not have represented the turning point, but the Lions are certainly better off now than they were the last time they faced the Cardinals.

13 responses to “Matthew Stafford’s come a long way since last matchup with the Cardinals

  1. Hoping the Lions won’t be an in the playoffs one year and out the next kind of team. though if they bounce back again in 2018 with a softer schedule, a lion fan shouldn’t be complaining. Still, they are good enough to get back this year, just need the typical avoid injuries and catch a break here and there. And, try not to trail in the 4 quarter practically every game, that might help.
    Not starting 0-3 is the key for this season!

  2. why do you want him to have “touch” on the ball? He’s got a rocket arm. He never played any part of his life with “touch”. His skill is finding the open receiver and slinging it in there too fast for the defender. Should he try scrambling more often too for some reason unknown??

  3. You know you’re right, if fact he really deserves a lot of credit for being part of an 0-16 season, two embarrassing playoff chokes and two seasons with 10 wins in his Hall of Fame caliber career with a team that continues to struggle for the past 6 decades.

    I’m guessing you’re trying to refer to Stafford, however you seem to have forgotten all of less than 10 years ago, when the Lions drafted him in 2009 with the #1 pick, which they had as a result of their 0-16 2008 season.

    If you were trying to bash Cooter, well he isn’t working on a HOF career and the story already points out how he was promoted to OC *after* Stafford was already there (which, if you can connect the dots was *after* the 0-16 season).

  4. Stafford wasnt on the 0-16 team. He came in after that. Before you hate, be sure you know what your talking about before you comment

  5. Stafford is so overrated, these loony Detroit fans are a clear cut testament of that claim. It’s ok to root for your QB, but the guy has done absolutely nothing for this team since 2009.

  6. Stafford’s biggest issue has been the lack of a running game. Defensive lines can tee-off into a pass rush pretty much every play. The Lions have made some changes in the O-line, and Ameer Abdullah’s NFL career is riding on what he produces this season. But if the Lions can create something that looks like a legit run threat, Stafford has the weapons to light things up. He’s always put up good numbers.

    And then the other big question is whether the defense shows up this year. Lately when the offense is firing on all cylinders the defense isn’t, and vice-versa.

    Luckily, before the kickoff later tonight, everyone’s team is still this season’s Super Bowl winner.

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