100th Game: The Evolution of Matthew Stafford

Is Matthew Stafford the best quarterback in the NFL? Maybe not; there are too contenders for that position. Such an argument would consume too many hours to resolve. However, as he heads into his 100th game, merely looking at the online NFL betting odds will tell you that he is definitely one of the best.

Stafford understands football. He also understands his own talent. He has been playing very well for the Detroit Lions since the season began, and he isn’t shy about admitting and accepting his own positive contribution to the Lions.
There was a time when everyone questioned the rationale of drafting Stafford first overall during the 2009 draft. The last couple of seasons have manifested the potential the team president and General Manager saw in Stafford at the time.

In the last sixteen games, Stafford has proven his worth in Jim Bon Cooter’s offense scheme; he has worked hard to hone his understanding of the game, so much so that adapting to new schemes and strategies doesn’t debilitate his game, which is why he is such an asset to the Detroit Lions.

And Stafford should be commended for remaining so humble yet so confident in his abilities. Stafford doesn’t really need others to either criticize his plays or complement his abilities. He knows exactly what he is worth and what he can do, so all the praise and criticisms do not interest Stafford.

Additionally, he understands that his teammates are just as important to the Lions’ success as he is, and he hasn’t been shy about complimenting all the talented players on his side.

A lot of the success that Stafford has achieved he has attributed to the fact that he trusts his teammates to do their jobs; and because of that trust, Stafford can concentrate on simply getting the ball and putting it in the right hands, then having confidence in his team to do the rest.

If there was one weakness plaguing Stafford, it was his inability to step up and lead; however, he seems to have put even that issue to bed. The Lions know Stafford as a firm decision maker.

He understands the responsibility he carries on his shoulders, and he has stepped up to the plate confidently, leading when the need arises and keeping the team motivated.

The 100th game milestone is notable because it allows analysts, pundits and fans to study the evolution of his career since he joined the NFL and the Lions. Stafford has come far. Once upon a time, Stafford was just another rookie; he struggled through a winless season, fought with accuracy issues and, at one time, was little more than an average player with a strong arm.

And that isn’t even taking account all the injuries he tended to attract, spending entire swathes of his first few seasons on the sidelines. Today, Stafford is a very different player.

He is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. More than that, Stafford is second in the league when it comes to completion percentages. More than just another physically impressive player, Stafford is a leader.

And as one of the toughest and most durable players around, Stafford has more than manifested the hope and potential those who drafted him saw.

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