49ers’ Jimmie Ward: Matt Stafford is the same QB who was in Detroit and didn’t make the playoffs

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The Rams have been a trendy Super Bowl pick since trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford, but 49ers safety Jimmie Ward will believe it when he sees it.

Ward questioned whether Stafford is really an upgrade over Jared Goff, given the two quarterbacks’ playoff records.

“I like Stafford, but they still will have the same players that he’ll be throwing the ball to,” Ward told Grant Cohn of SI.com. “He’s the same quarterback who was on the Detroit Lions and they still didn’t go to the playoffs, and they had Megatron [Calvin Johnson]. What was the problem over there in Detroit? Are you going to blame the city? What was the problem? Was it the money? If they city didn’t have enough money to bring players over there, why even have an NFL team? That’s a big question mark.

“They went and traded Jared Goff, who went to the playoffs several times and went to the Super Bowl. Yeah, he lost. He went to the Super Bowl, though. I’ve yet to see that with Matt Stafford. And I’m saying, he’s still great. I believe he’s a top 10 quarterback, maybe top 5. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m just going off of what I see. And I see Jared Goff got those boys to the Super Bowl.”

It’s true that Stafford only reached the playoffs three times in 12 seasons in Detroit, and lost in the wild card round all three times. And it’s true that Goff got to the playoffs three times in five seasons with the Rams, including reaching the Super Bowl once.

That does not, however, mean Stafford isn’t an upgrade over Goff. And now perhaps Stafford will have a little extra motivation to prove that to Ward.

64 responses to “49ers’ Jimmie Ward: Matt Stafford is the same QB who was in Detroit and didn’t make the playoffs

  1. Agree 100 percent. Stanford has amazing “arm talent,” but not sure he is a clear upgrade over Goff as an overall QB.

  2. Says the guy with 2 career interceptions that can’t stay on the field more than 60% of the time! That won’t come back to bite ya at all now will it!?

  3. Actually a great quarterback can make a big difference. Look at New England. We were an awful franchise before Tom Brady and we are back to being 7-9 quality without him. The Patriot way was all Tom and now it’s over.

  4. Meanwhile the 49ers have made the playoffs once in seven years since Jimmie Ward has been there.

  5. Detroit had a better offensive line and better receivers than the Rams did last year. Defense obviously not as good as the Rams, and coaches were awful. So once again, it wasn’t Stafford’s fault.

  6. He’s right, Jimmie Ward isn’t the only one who’s been thinking that since the trade. Not only did Detroit have Megatron, but remember when everyone was blasting Matt Millen for drafting WR’s in back-to-back drafts to help Stafford?

  7. Jimmie does have a point here. And to that point I can guarantee that no one ever watched Lions games the last few years. If you did they wouldn’t be suggesting Stafford for MVP. Rams are going to be average, because they have an average QB, who has a propensity for making bad reads, bad throws and bad mistakes and he ain’t no rookie. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

  8. I have no dog in this fight as I’m a fan of neither team nor follow them but Stafford could say the same about Jimmie Ward, especially as the Lions did make the playoffs a few times. In fact it could go something like this…

    “Jimmie Ward is the same corner back whose been there since 2014, part of the historically worse defense in 2016 and they still didn’t go to the playoffs, and they had [insert player], what was the problem over then in San Fran…”

    Just spitballing here, not saying Stafford should but in the case of Ward sometimes it’s best to think before you speak.

  9. Isn’t just a qb or just a receiver that gets you there, it’s also an offensive line,and backs. A somewhat effective defense helps a lot,along with a group on the sidelines. It’s called a TEAM.

  10. I think Ward makes a valid point.

    Obviously it’s a team game, but Detroit had some decent rosters over the years that underachieved.

    Stafford has normally passed the eyeball test when I’ve watched him (although he’s had some bad games and even bad seasons), but I question if he has the killer instinct needed to win consistently.

  11. I have to agree with Jimmie Ward. Its not like Stafford had scrubs to throw to in Detroit. I remember hearing Belichick heaping loads of praise on Cam Newton and they finished 7-9, the same way McVay has been gushing about Stafford. Like Madden says, you are what your record says you are and Stafford has been nothing but mediocre

  12. To me, this was the most intriguing move of the offseason. I hope the Rams know what they’re doing. Two firsts and a third for the difference between Matt Stafford and Jared Goff? Is there a difference between Stafford and Goff? Having said that, it was time for Detroit and Matt Stafford to move on, and it likely will be good for both parties. Detroit needed to shake it up and Jared Goff will probably do very well. Matt Stafford may also now find himself in a system that emphasizes his strengths. But boy, that took guts by the Rams…

  13. Stafford has demonstrated after 12 NFL seasons that he is not a championship quality quarterback. All I have heard every year is that it is someone else’s fault.
    It takes more than just arm talent to make a quarterback a winner, and Stafford doesn’t have the mental makeup to be a consistent winner.

  14. Don’t know enough about Detroit to know if Stafford was part of the solution or part of the problem. We will soon find out because if LA doesn’t make the conference championship then we will know he was not part of the solution and LA gave up a hell of a lot to remain the status quo!

  15. Remember it’s not just Detroit, Stafford had an all-star team around him in college at Georgia that was expected to win a national title and they flopped.

  16. They may have given him plenty of targets to throw to but who had the time when they did nothing to fix the offensive line and haven’t had a good running back since Barry Sanders

  17. He cannot be more correct. All the talk about Stafford going forward is 100% conjecture. 12 years looking back though, well the results or lack thereof certainly speak for themselves. The Rams are like a teenager that finds a $100 on the street…Spend without thinking.

  18. Stanford is certainly an upgrade over Goff. 2 1st rd picks better? I dont think so, but an upgrade yes. Ward’s point is valid. Stafford as talented as he is has not done much in the way of playoffs. Great qbs put average teams the the playoffs consistently. He had Megatron for years to throw to and has 3 wildcard losses to show for it. Would the Texans have been relevant without Watson? The packers without Rodgers? Ravens without Lamar?

  19. Maybe he should look at his own quarterback who has been in the league for a a decade but has only played 6 games.

  20. Matt Stafford is better QB than Jared goff.Lions is good team in NFL.If he gets connection WR’s and RB,Rams will super bowl contenders

  21. Jimmie ward,the guy with a 7 year career who has made the playoffs once. And if it wasn’t for the falcons 28-3 choke job, maybe the 2019 niner defense would be thought of as having the biggest choke job in sb history. Up 10 with less that 1 quarter to play and getting the int and possession.

  22. He’s not wrong. Stafford only produces against bad Ds which actually hurt those Lions Ds.

    His stats are misleading.

  23. I don’t understand Lions fans that are still hung up over a player who got richly compensated for below average results, then roundly rejected your franchise and city. Goff isn’t the answer, but Stafford sure as hell wasn’t. Move on, he’s just not that into you!

  24. Have to put myself in the same camp as Jimmie Ward. It seems as though football execs and a lot of sports writers are taking all of Stafford’s failures and laying them at the feet of “that’s Detroit Lions football for you”.

    Let’s not forget that Stafford had a very good coach in Jim Caldwell for 4 seasons. It hasn’t all been buffoons like Matt Patricia. Let’s also not forget that Stafford has typically had extremely talented WR’s to throw to in most of his seasons as a Lion. Remember all the offensive coordinators the Lions have gone through? With each new OC, the offense would get a boost and this was finally going to be the guy that was able to utilize Stafford’s amazing ability.

    Most of those OC’s lasted a year before being fired. Stafford is a coach killer. The same guy that would make a couple of highlight reel plays every Sunday is the same guy that frequently killed his team by throwing red zone interceptions or taking stupid sacks.

    So color me skeptical. Now, the Rams are a very talented team and McVey is no dummy when it comes to running an offense. Perhaps they can put up the bumper lanes (for you bowling fans) for Stafford and create enough structure & rules within that offense to keep Stafford from getting himself into trouble. But I’ll believe it when I see it.

  25. Most of Stafford’s games in his career were against the defenses of the Bears, Vikings and Packers. Those defenses have ranked with the top defenses in the league. He will show himself this year to be one of the top QBs in the league. And he gets Thanksgiving at home with the family from now on.

  26. The Rams have a running game that they can lean on to complement the passing attack. The passing attack is varied and can run through multiple players. The Lions haven’t been able to find a quality starting RB since Barry retired and often had just a single threat at WR, albeit an all-timer.

  27. As a Niners fan Jimmie personally has zero room to talk about underachieving. He literally only has a job due to his versatility to play nickel CB or safety. As a football fan his argument is valid. Even back to college you could argue Stafford may lack a killer instinct. It isn’t like his rosters have all been bad. He doesn’t appear to show up in crunch time from what I have seen. He has better arm talent than Goff. Can definitely read defenses better, but when all the marbles are on the table he still seems to make the exact same mistakes. If they pull it off the trade was worth it. If they don’t it will be 2 more years of squandering picks in which they could have been reloading cheaper and younger

  28. often had just a single threat at WR, albeit an all-timer.
    —-

    Brandon Pettigrew, Nate Burleson, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay who just cashed in a huge contract.

  29. These discussions always reveal who knows and watches football and who doesn’t. Stafford is just like Carson Palmer when he left Cincinnati, a good QB who couldn’t overcome a terrible organization. He’s not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but not many are. However, you can win a championship with him. Goff has shown you it will be very difficult to do so with him when his defense gave up 13 points in the Super Bowl, and he couldn’t get it done in a couple of big spots in that game. That’s no knock on him, but coaches like McVey are here to win championships.

  30. Last time I checked 1 player ain’t a team. The QB doesn’t block, catch passes, play RB, rush the QB, make sacks, tackle, assist in tackles, defend the pass, make interceptions, punt, kick, coach or are involved with player management. Bad organizations don’t have stability.

    2009-2013: HC Jim schwartz, OC Scott Linehan, GM Martin Mayhew;
    2014 HC Jim Caldwell, OC Joe lombardi, GM Martin Mayhew;
    2015 HC Jim Caldwell, OC Joe Lombardi & Jim Bob Cooter, GM Martin Mayhew & Sheldon White;
    2016-2017 HC Jim Caldwell, OC Jim Bob Cooter, GM Bob Quinn;
    2018 HC Matt Patricia, OC Jim Bob Cooter, GM Bob Quinn;
    2019 HC Matt Patricia, OC Darrell Bevell, GM Bob Quinn;
    2020 HC Matt Patricia & Darrell Bevell, OC Darrell Bevell, GM Bob Quinn.

    I’d say Detroit resembles the City around them, not very stable or good leadership.

  31. Ward could be right but please son, stick a sock in it. What do you get from running your mouth on this topic? No one cares and you’re just motivating the other team to play better against you.

  32. Stafford has more grit and guts than he’s given credit for to go along with his elite arm strength.

  33. I’m a Niners fan, and like Jimmy Ward’s aggressive style of play, but he hasn’t achieved enough with the team over his long tenure to justify running his mouth so much lately. First he made comments about the Rams coach and now their new QB. Go do it on the field, Jimmy. Talking trash is a fool’s game. We get it, you’re marking your territory and saying the Rams aren’t the top NFC West team. Go show us.

  34. Ok Jimmy you’ll get to see it twice a year now lol. This isn’t Goff, Stafford is about to burn you both games.

  35. I seriously doubt Stafford will overcome his natural tendency to choke when it matters.

  36. It’s not clear to me which team got the better of the trade. We will get a much better idea after the end of the season where we can see which team improved and which team regressed.

  37. The fact that Stafford has been even this successful in Detroit is a testament to how good he is. They’ve never had a good defense. And they always seem to hire the worst head coaches. How many has he played for? He’s definitely better than Goff. But I’m not sure I’d label them a SB contender.

  38. @AndyB. It is impossible for the Lions to regress. They’re going to be a bottom 3 team. The way they win the trade is by using those draft picks wisely.

  39. Matthew Stafford…..hmmmmmm, let’s see. He is nearing the end of his career. He is not mobile & w/o a good O line, he will be like a lot of other nfl qbs….not as good as they could be.

  40. howboutthemcowboys2020 says:
    July 18, 2021 at 8:27 am
    I have to agree with Jimmie Ward. Its not like Stafford had scrubs to throw to in Detroit. I remember hearing Belichick heaping loads of praise on Cam Newton and they finished 7-9, the same way McVay has been gushing about Stafford. Like Madden says, you are what your record says you are and Stafford has been nothing but mediocre

    ____

    Funny thing about the Lions, they have made the playoffs the same amount of times as the Cowboys since 2010.

  41. One player doth not make a playoff team, much less a Super Bowl team. The Lions have had mediocre – at best – rosters for generations, and trly putrid defenses. Given a choice, I’d certainly rather have him than Jimmy G!

  42. Carson Palmer a good an who couldn’t t overcome a bad organization? Like the one that made the playoffs five straight years after he left with Andy Dalton? Bad analogy. Stafford has had a million excuses made for him, this year will be no Different. Rams won’t sniff the bowl.

  43. Dave Padgett says:
    July 18, 2021 at 6:05 am
    Says the guy with 2 career interceptions that can’t stay on the field more than 60% of the time! That won’t come back to bite ya at all now will it!?////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// That doesn’t mean his assessment isn’t correct. Jimmy Ward may not be the most talented, or durable, but I think his observation is spot on. Plus, I had 2 career interceptions as well (both against bad HS teams).

  44. Jimmy Ward is not one to talk, he’s a below average safety who gave up a momentum shifting catch to Tyreek Hill in the Super Bowl on an absolute floater. Stafford never made the playoffs, and that means something, for sure. We’ll see if he ends up being any real improvement over Goff, or not.

  45. savethebs says:
    July 18, 2021 at 8:14 pm
    The fact that Stafford has been even this successful in Detroit is a testament to how good he is. They’ve never had a good defense. And they always seem to hire the worst head coaches. How many has he played for? He’s definitely better than Goff. But I’m not sure I’d label them a SB contender.
    —————————————————————————————–
    Stafford has not been successful at all in Detroit. What have they won? How many playoff games?

  46. Stafford almost never had a clean pocket to throw from in Detroit and only occasionally had competent running game support. He still had pretty good but not great stats. Now he’s on a team that’s got top to bottom talent, of course the expectation is that he’ll shine. It might take him awhile to learn how to throw without a huge DT in his face or an EDGE about to hit him from the blind side but he’s probably up to the task.

  47. Goff throws laser beams. It must have been something personal between the coach and the QB, I don’t think Stanford is that much of an upgrade.

  48. I guess giving up a game-changing play in the SB gives Ward license to talk? Maybe he should worry more about his game and talk less.

  49. Stafford is like former Ram Jim Everrett before he got happy feet. Huge stats no big wins. He is going to a team with a weaker OL than the Lions, and less talented receivers than Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Hockenson. I wish him well, he is a nice guy with a nice family.

  50. As a Packers fan, I saw a lot of Stafford. He is an undeniable talent, but he never struck fear into the Packers, or the Vikings or the Bears for that matter. He’s moved to a better team, but he’s also moved to a tougher division. Will he be an upgrade over Goff? Most likely, but it may not translate into more wins.

  51. Hard to hang the Lions failures on Stafford. Hes a clear upgrade over Goff. Id probably put them in the drivers seat in that division but the 9ers and Seahawks are right on their heels. The Cardinals are decent too but not there yet.

  52. FloriotheInstigator says:
    July 18, 2021 at 7:04 am
    He’s right, Jimmie Ward isn’t the only one who’s been thinking that since the trade. Not only did Detroit have Megatron, but remember when everyone was blasting Matt Millen for drafting WR’s in back-to-back drafts to help Stafford?
    —————————————————————
    You’re wrong about 2 things. The first, Stafford wasn’t drafted until after Matt Millen left. The second, At the time Millen was blasted because he drafted WRs in the first round in back-to-back-to-back drafts and they were: Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams. The only one of them to do anything was Roy Williams.

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