Matthew Stafford: I want to play in big games

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Getty Images

In 12 seasons since the Lions drafted quarterback Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in the NFL draft, they made the playoffs three times. They lost in the wild card round all three times.

Now Stafford is about to get traded to the Rams, and although he says, “I never thought I would ever finish my career anywhere else,” he also acknowledges that he wants to go somewhere that he can actually play in big games and win.

“I’ve always wanted to play in those big games, I feel like I will excel in those situations,” he told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. “I wanted to shoot my shot.”

Stafford said he and his wife had a feeling a year ago that the Lions were probably going to be heading into yet another rebuild, and he figured both he and the team would be better off with a trade.

“To be honest, Kelly and I probably started talking about it before last season. It was one of those things where, you know, we were hoping that, golly, let’s go, I hope this thing takes off and we play great. But if it doesn’t, you just knew what was going to happen. They were going to tear it down and rebuild,” Stafford said. “And any time you switch GMs and a head coach, you know that they’re going to want to bring their own people in, and that’s going to take time. And I, frankly, didn’t feel like I was the appropriate person to oversee that time.”

So the Lions will get Jared Goff, a third-round pick and two first-round picks for that rebuild. And Stafford will find out if he can win a big game with the Rams.

43 responses to “Matthew Stafford: I want to play in big games

  1. Matthew, why haven’t you propelled your team into big games in the years that you have been playing? Sounds like you wanted to be awarded third base.

  2. Think the Lions got a great deal for a veteran QB, the Rams overpaid tons.

    Until last year Goff was a good young Qb for the Rams. This reminds of the 2001 Ravens who were the Sb champs and then got on paper a talented 4000 yard QB who would give them a passing attack as Dilfer didn’t. That backfired totally.

    Stafford is a good QB but he was traded for a kings ransom. The pressures on Stafford to take the Rams further then they went this year. Will be fascinating to watch

  3. Well you never got us to any of those big games in Detroit and regardless of what people think there were years where we had some fairly talented teams including a first ballot HOF receiver. Although the bar is pretty low he was hands down the best quarterback we’ve had in my 43 years of life and I wish him nothing but the best but unfortunately when the stakes were high more often than not he didn’t get the job done.

  4. psj3809 says:
    February 11, 2021 at 5:07 am
    Think the Lions got a great deal for a veteran QB, the Rams overpaid tons.

    Until last year Goff was a good young Qb for the Rams. This reminds of the 2001 Ravens who were the Sb champs and then got on paper a talented 4000 yard QB who would give them a passing attack as Dilfer didn’t. That backfired totally.

    Stafford is a good QB but he was traded for a kings ransom. The pressures on Stafford to take the Rams further then they went this year. Will be fascinating to watch. Elvis gerbach is the name you’re looking for .

  5. This will be a Philip Rivers/Colts situation. Rams probably go 10-6, but come up short against superior teams in the post-season.

  6. redclaw1314 says:
    February 11, 2021 at 5:05 am
    Matthew, why haven’t you propelled your team into big games in the years that you have been playing? Sounds like you wanted to be awarded third base

    _______________________________________

    Name 1 pro bowler outside Calvin Johnson. It’s tough to win when a franchise hasn’t built a winning culture.

  7. Detroit and Cincy are the two worst long-term losing environmentds in the NFL. Give the guy a chance under a good coach. He’s played under morons in Detroit.

  8. Everybody sounds like Stafford and the Rams will go to the playoffs each and every year but playing in the same division as the Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals it’s not like a playoff berth is a given.

  9. Hey Matt Stafford, over 20 pick-6’s in your career…were they big games??? This guy has been, and continues to get, a pass on his career, while Goff actually has gotten beaten up for his…my bet is that Goff comes into Detroit with a huge chip on his shoulder. As far as Stafford, he’s just a stat boy…

  10. As a Rams fan Im glad we took this shot. Snead has done well drafting for the system and Goff wasn’t going to get it done. Matty will let McVey do things he wasn’t able to before! Go Rams!!!!!

  11. Translation: Stafford knew Patricia lacked the skills to coach this team…he was a fraud. Matthew Stafford, talent wise, is 1sr tier NFL QB. He can make all the throws, all the reads. But, what he hasn’t been is a first tier NFL leader…an Alpha Male. Someone that would call out management if things were going south—as they had in Detroit for almost a decade. He doesn’t have to be that with the Rams. McVay is. All the best to him in LA. Hope he gets to play in those big moments.

  12. If we didn’t know already, Tom Brady reminded us that QB has a lot to do with the team’s success. But there aren’t a whole lot of Tom Brady’s walking around. The Rams are loaded on defense. I expect them to be in the hunt. It will be interesting to see who gets to the super bowl first. Detroit or the Rams.

  13. Most who don’t watch the Lions seem to think Stafford is blameless for the Lions terrible record but he’s not . While his end of game stats looked good it’s what he did or didn’t in the games that cost the Lions . Things like struggling with accuracy for long stretches starting games causing multiple quick 3 and outs wearing down the defense and falling behind forcing the offense to abandon their game plan and go into catch up mode . Of course once this happened Stafford gets hot , enough to make the stat sheet look decent but not enough to win games . Things like having the chance to stretch a lead to possibly put a game away only to throw a bad pick or miss a wide open WR for a TD giving the opposition a spark that fueled their comeback to steal the game . Things like seeing the defense crowding the line yet sticks with the deep handoff with no audible that results in an immediate TFL . Things like never changing his snap count or cadence always waiting for the play clock to be close to zero before calling for the snap . Of course defenses knew this too so they were never off balance or offsides because they knew when the snap was coming virtually every play . Things like providing zero leadership even when asked by other players to do so . The Rams are going to find out Stafford is like shiny used car , nice enough to buy but once you drive it off the lot you find it has a lot of performance issues over time that will make you regret the purchase .

  14. Bet he throws for more than 125 yards and one TD when he’s in the playoffs next year. Great trade for the Rams.

  15. redclaw1314 says:
    February 11, 2021 at 5:05 am
    Matthew, why haven’t you propelled your team into big games in the years that you have been playing? Sounds like you wanted to be awarded third base.

    _______________

    Only a partially valid argument. This isn’t golf. While QBs are largely responsible for the success of a team, they do need…….a team. And hopefully, consistent coaching and an even somewhat-competent front office. Stafford has had none of these for virtually his entire career.

  16. psj3809 says:

    This reminds of the 2001 Ravens who were the Sb champs and then got on paper a talented 4000 yard QB who would give them a passing attack as Dilfer didn’t. That backfired totally.

    Ravens fan here, the year they got Elvis they not only lost Priest Holmes to free agency they also lost Jamal Lewis to a preseason ACL tear. He was tackled by Kelly Gregg who was trying to just get a job after being waived by two other NFL teams. They had no threat of a running game that year….Jason Brookings & a washed up Terry Allen. Had Jamal Lewis played it would have been a different story. They also made it to the divisional round of the playoffs so not a complete failure. They lost that day to the Steelers that sparked the best rival in the NFL for the last two decades.

  17. Seems like franchise QBs only used to leave their teams when the team had what it believed to be a better, younger QB waiting on the bench. (Unitas, Montana, Favre etc)
    I think it’s much more interesting to see these blockbuster trades with QBs who still have some prime left. It can work, as proven by Peyton Manning.

  18. I remember watching Stafford slide for 9 yards on 4th and 10. What kind of QB doesn’t know where the sticks are on 4th down? Put him and Aaron Rodgers side by side. Stafford is more beefy. His arm is stronger. He looks more like a pro QB. But once the ball is snapped, Rodgers knows how to play the position, and Stafford knows how to throw the ball really hard.

  19. I think the entire NFC West is ecstatic to see the Rams put the team in the hands of a QB that has never shown a penchant for elevating the play of those around him or exerting his will to drive his team to wins.

  20. redclaw1314 says:
    February 11, 2021 at 5:05 am
    Matthew, why haven’t you propelled your team into big games in the years that you have been playing? Sounds like you wanted to be awarded third base.

    @redclaw1314 I hear you but I disagree. And it is my biggest media/armchair GM pet peeve (along with “system QB”). Not every team is going to be propelled by one player into greatness. Not consistently. And if there’s ever been a team that wasn’t going to get propelled it is the Lions.

    My team is their cousin across the Lake (the Browns) who thankfully are in a different conversation now. But for 2.5 decades there was no QB that was ever going to pull that team to the next level. It took an owner butting out, the right management, the right coaching, AND a whole bunch of core player upgrades to get there. Lions have had none of these. Perennially.

  21. redclaw1314 says:
    February 11, 2021 at 5:05 am

    Matthew, why haven’t you propelled your team

    *****************************************
    NOTE to REDclaw:
    Football is a TEAM game.

    Why didn’t the “GOAT” “propel” the Patriot to the Superbowl EVERY YEAR he played with the Patriots?

    Because it’s a TEAM game. And they did NOT always have all the talent necessary on defense, receivers, etc. to do so.

    This “you didn’t win a superbowl so you’re not a good QB” idiocy has got to stop.

    Tell it to Marino dude.

  22. I don’t understand why the Rams did this trade.

    There are lot of interesting QBs to be had in the 2nd or 3rd round of this draft that could be ready to start in 2022. Why not groom one while keeping Goff and all those picks?

    The Rams made the playoffs this season. That’s not easy.

    Looking at their schedule this year I’m expecting another 9-7, 10-6 season. So, what did you really accomplish other than remove one of the last few pieces of the Super Bowl run?

  23. Out of the 32 teams, the NFL uses about 2 or 3 as dial knobs every year to increase percentages of good games in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. In the past 5 years those teams are The Detroit Lions, The Cleveland Browns, and any team that Tom Brady plays on.

  24. The jury is out on Stafford. Nothing he has done in his career makes be believe he can lead any team to a Super Bowl regardless of how talented they are. Doesn’t mean he can’t.

  25. If im the rams im hoping this aging QB is healthy and over the multiple injuries he apparently suffered last year.

  26. It will be fascinating to see how Stafford and the Rams do this year, as there will be no more excuses for any lack of success. Then again, he’d better have that success the next two years because the Rams’ personnel cupboard will soon be pretty bare.

  27. Stafford has good stats. In garbage time. It is like the NBA. Somebody has to lead the team in scoring when they are down 20 in the fourth playing against a prevent second team. He had no problem cashing checks for several years. Never wanted out. Never hit free agency. Because there was no market for him. Lions should feel blessed they got somebody else. He may have been the lack of leadership problem.

  28. It’s a TRAP! says:
    February 11, 2021 at 6:40 am

    redclaw1314 says:
    February 11, 2021 at 5:05 am
    Matthew, why haven’t you propelled your team into big games in the years that you have been playing? Sounds like you wanted to be awarded third base

    _______________________________________

    Name 1 pro bowler outside Calvin Johnson. It’s tough to win when a franchise hasn’t built a winning culture.
    _________

    Ndamukong Suh – 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
    Darius Slay – 2017, 2018, 2019
    Don Muhlbach – 2012, 2018
    Kenny Golladay – 2019
    T.J. Hockenson – 2020
    Ezekiel Ansah – 2015
    Golden Tate – 2014
    Frank Ragnow – 2020
    Matt Prater – 2016
    T.J. Lang – 2017
    Glover Quin – 2014
    Jack Fox – 2020

    Admittedly, that isn’t a lot. But Stafford only made one Pro Bowl and part of the quarterback’s job is to be the leader that creates a winning culture. Detroit is obviously a terrible situation but he had his opportunities to play in big games and he didn’t get it done. He’s a poor man’s Kirk Cousins.

  29. Y’all are crazy. Stafford is a good QB. The Ravens needed some competence at QB AND to shed that contract.

    They had 2 choices: 1) just concede 2021 and play for 2022 and in the future or 2) figure out a way to shed that contract AND get a legit QB in there.

    This is win win for both teams.

    Oh and BTW, Goff sucks. He is just not good at managing any play that is off script / off schedule. He can’t create. At all. That extension was bad the minute the Rams signed it.

  30. Rams mortgaged their future with everything they gave up. Too much for that guy. Rams will be a loser team in the future.

  31. Horrible against above .500 teams and can barely come ahead in his own division. The Bears have never had a QB and the Vikings started ponder,jackson,Keenum and other throwaways. Why is he so good? Perfect example of the new age game of passing stats.

  32. Stafford is a very good QB. He’s definitely an upgrade for most NFL teams. So many years squandered in Detroit.

  33. *Y’all are crazy. Stafford is a good QB. EDIT The RAMS needed some competence at QB AND to shed that contract. (yall need to have a forum where you can edit comments)

    They had 2 choices: 1) just concede 2021 and play for 2022 and in the future or 2) figure out a way to shed that contract AND get a legit QB in there.

    This is win win for both teams.

    Oh and BTW, Goff sucks. He is just not good at managing any play that is off script / off schedule. He can’t create. At all. That extension was bad the minute the Rams signed it.

    0 6 Rate This

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.