The ongoing debate about Matthew Stafford being a good quarterback or just an average one gets aided by his newly acquired record for most passing yards (14,331) and completions (1239) through the first 50 games of his career, more than any other QB in NFL history.
Stafford actually broke the record in week 4 after beating Chicago. He simply padded his numbers by throwing for 262 yards, completing 25-of-40 passes with one touchdown in the 22-9 loss to Green Bay, a team Stafford has beaten only once since entering the NFL.
Even though the usual argument thrown against Stafford’s numbers is him having Calvin Johnson, keep in mind that the previous record holder, Kurt Warner, did it during the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ period in St. Louis, giving him a much more talented team around him than what Stafford has had since becoming the future quarterback for the Lions. Warner is likely going to the hall of fame.
The completion record was held by Marc Bulger, who succeeded Warner as the Rams’ starting quarterback, which didn’t pan out too well in hindsight. And it’s not a surprise – completion records don’t really mean anything. Stafford throws the ball more than anyone else in NFL history.
Stafford, at the moment, is only ninth in the NFL this season in passing attempts, averaging 39.2. Six quarterbacks – Joe Flacco, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Matt Schaub, Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan put the ball in the air more than 40 times a game. He’s 10th in completion percentage (63.8%), 7th in yards per game with 305, 9th in touchdown passes with 8 and 9th in passer rating with 94.9.
The Lions are doing better than they did last year, so far with a 3-2 record, but they keep having either Calvin Johnson or Reggie Bush missing from games due to injury; the two most important players to have around Stafford to make his passing game work.