Exploring Matthew Stafford against winning teams: Part 2

By
Updated: June 26, 2013
Despite quality play from Matthew Stafford, the Lions have been unable to defeat teams with winning records.

Despite quality play from Matthew Stafford, the Lions have been unable to defeat teams with winning records.

In part 1 of this series, we looked at how Stafford played in 2009-2011 against teams with winning records and analyzed the context of those games. Stafford, based on his play and the circumstances of those games, should have earned a 6-2 record against winning teams, with 2009 thrown out for rookie nonsense and the mess left over from previous GM Matt Millen.  However, the Lions earned an 0-8 record in those games.  Now we will take a look at 2012 where Stafford squared off against a whopping 11 winning record teams in 2012. Note he only played 5 total in 2011.

At San Francisco

Injuries:  Jahvid Best, Chris Houston, Louis Delmas, Don Carey, Bill Bentley

Stafford and the Lions minus their entire starting secondary faced a tough San Francisco defense but this time on the road. Stafford led an offense that scored the same amount of points as 2011 (19) but Stafford struggled more in this game than he did in 2011. His lone pick was a fluke play where the ball slipped out of his hand as he tried to pull it back leading to a short field for San Francisco. San Francisco was held to a field goal on this short field but a running into the kicker by Drayton Florence changed the 3 points into a first down and eventual 7 points for San Francisco in an 8 point loss. The extra 4 points for San Francisco was crucial.

Stafford gets some blame for this loss despite the fluke pick with only 59% completion and only 230 yards. One touchdown was late in the game set up by a screen by Joique Bell to beat a 3rd and 17 is why I don’t give Stafford more credit for this game. Hanson missed a big field goal in this game after an 11 play 65 yard drive. That miss taking away 3 points, andnot taking advantage of a short field after a special teams fumble recovery in field goal range led to the loss. Also, poor backup safety play, the running into the kicker giving the 49ers an extra 4 points and long 4th Quarter touchdown drive converting several long 3rd downs by the 49ers led to this defeat for Detroit.

But Stafford didn’t play well enough for the win due to only a late TD. It’s good to note though without that fluke interception Stafford would have a 91 rating for this game. But Stafford must grip the ball better.

True Record (loss): 6-3 not 0-9

Minnesota

Injuries:  Best, Delmas
Brandon Pettigrew's drops were a big part of some losses by the Lions.

Brandon Pettigrew’s drops were a big part of some losses by the Lions.

You are off your rocker if you blame this loss on Stafford. The Vikings had 2 special teams TDs and Stafford was 30/51 (58%) for 319 yards with 1 rushing TD. Stafford threw a beautiful should be TD pass that was dropped by Pettigrew after a nice long 2nd Quarter drive (14 plays) and the Lions had to settle for 3 points. Pettigrew holds on and Stafford has 85.6 QB rating.

Mikel Leshoure fumbled in Vikings field goal territory on another drive. The Lions had a turnover on downs after a long Stafford drive in the 4th Quarter but the offensive line didn’t hold allowing 2 sacks in the red zone, once on fourth down. Also, if Pettigrew caught that sure TD, the 4th down is a field goal to cut it to 20-13 instead of a sack leaving the score at 20-6.

Stafford led a TD drive late(Stafford rushing TD) which should have been his 3rd TD drive of the game if not for Pettigrew/Oline problems. The Lions couldn’t run at all during the game either. Stafford plays like that again and gets one less drop or one less missed tackle on special team, he’s a winner.

True Record (win): 7-3 not 0-10

At Chicago

Injuries:  Best, Nate Burleson for half of the game

Yes the Lions only scored 7 points. However, you can’t ignore Stafford’s 3 other long drives against the Bears into the Bears redzone. Twice in the redzone, Lion’s RBs fumbled taking away at least 6 easy points in a 6 point loss. On top of that, Stafford was forced on the 3rd drive to go for it on 4th down. He was pressured on the play by Peppers and had to throw up a prayer into tight coverage. It ended in a pick. Without this pick, which is not Stafford’s fault, Stafford has 85.6 rating not 74.8. Plus without either of the two previous fumbles, the Lions can kick a field goal on 4th down instead of forcing up a late interception.

The Lions defense played well holding the Bears to 10 points and 3 points on a short field after a Logan muffed punt. However, the Lions RBs screwed Stafford from being a winner.

True Record (win): 8-3 not 0-11

Seattle

Injuries:  Best, Burleson

The Lions won and Stafford is a huge reason why. 69.4% completion, 3 TDs and 102 rating. Titus Young pre-insanity actually lived up to his talent with 100 yard 2 TD game against a good secondary. Stafford deserves this win despite the Lions defense trying to give the game away with a late 4th Quarter TD drive by Seattle and Lynch having a big 70 yard run.

True Record (win): 9-3 not 1-11

Titus Young showed up big in the Lions' victory over the Seahawks.

Titus Young showed up big in the Lions’ victory over the Seahawks.

At Minnesota

Injuries:  Best, Burleson, Delmas, Bentley

Again a great game for Stafford in this game, Stafford had 3 TDs and 66% completion 329 yards and 104 rating. The Lions scored 24 on the road with no running game. The Lions defense let them down with Peterson running wild in the 4th Quarter and backup safety (Coleman) getting beat deep by rookie Jarius Wright setting up a Viking TD.

True Record (win): 10-3 not 1-12

Green Bay

Injuries:  Best, Burleson, Delmas, Bentley, Titus Young’s 4th Quarter insanity

Stafford gets blame in this game despite one fluky interception off Scheffler’s hands that went for a pick 6 in a 4 point loss. Stafford only threw 44% for 266 yards and was missing over the middle all day.  Young was blanketed by Hayward then went insane in the 4th Quarter.  Stafford took a coverage sack in the redzone of the first TD drive and smartly settled for 3 points. His TD pass to Calvin was in tight coverage and a little lucky. 20 points scored with a bad day from Stafford is still a good game for the Lions. The Lions defense showed up enough holding the Packers to 14 long field points and 0 points starting at the Lions 40 3 times . The Lions running game was good that day to aid Stafford’s bad day.

True Record (loss): 10-4 not 1-13

Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford played well, but the Lions could not prevail against the Texans.

Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford played well, but the Lions could not prevail against the Texans.

Houston

Injuries:  Best, Burleson, Titus Young, Delmas (4th Quarter), Bentley

The Lions scored 31 points against a good Houston defense and Stafford had over 400 yards and a 85 rating with 2 TDs and no picks. Watt provided some pressure on Stafford and some JJ Swatts. Pettigrew fumbled after a beautiful pass in field goal range and Hanson missed a field goal in OT. Stafford did enough to win this game. Delmas missing the 4th Quarter was enough for the Texans to come back on Detroit. Plus let’s not forget the bogus Justin Forsett TD and challenge.  This changed the momentum and game when the Lions were dominating the Texans.

True Record (win): 11-4 not 1-14

Indianapolis

Injuries:  Best, Burleson, Young, Ryan Broyles (first series), Delmas (4th Quarter)

The injuries to WRS are starting to pile up but that isn’t stopping Stafford. Stafford still throws for over 313 yards, has 2 TDs, an 84 rating and the Lions score 33 points. The lone Stafford pick was a great job by Robert Mathis from the Dline into the passing range not much Stafford can do about that. Scoring 33 points against a playoff team without an explosive back and WRS 2-4 is pretty impressive. The 4th Quarter 14 point melt down by the Lions defense is to blame for this one.

True Record (win): 12-4 not 1-15

At Green Bay

Injuries:  Best, Burleson, Young, Broyles, Brandon Pettigrew, Delmas

The weapon injuries reach their climax and Detroit limps to Lambeau Field with street WRs and Calvin. Stafford is able to put up 20 points on the road with a TD pass and TD run on 60% completion with Calvin and scrub WRs.  The lone interception was due to a wrong route run by street WR Kris Durham. Stafford earns a 85.9 rating without this street WR gaffe.

Jason Hanson also missed a field goal in the 4th Quarter with the score tied 17-17. This set up a quick score for the Packers having the Lions go down 24-17 instead of up 20-17. The Stafford fumble with the Lions up 14-3 was the flukiest play I have ever seen in my life. Green Bay better enjoy their Lambeau gift.

True Record (win): 13-4 not 1-16

Atlanta

Injuries:  Best, Burleson, Young, Broyles, Pettigrew, Nick Fairley, Corey Williams

Saturday Night football had the Lions down for the count searching only for Calvin’s record. The Lions made sure it happened with a 443 yard day from Stafford and 200 yard day from Calvin. Stafford was 66% with 56 pass attempts and had a rushing TD. The lone pick was after the game was over forcing it to  Calvin. 84 QB rating day and without the forced pick it’s a 91 rating day. Stafford with Calvin and a bunch of scrub WRs had a good day. The Lions only scored 18 points with a LeShoure fumble in the Falcons redzone, a Calvin fumble and a turnover downs deep in the Falcons redzone. The Lions defense couldn’t stop the Falcons passing attack to the tune of 31 points allowed.

True Record (win): 14-4 not 1-17

With Matthew Stafford's help, Calvin Johnson broke the record for most receiving yards in a season.

With Matthew Stafford’s help, Calvin Johnson broke the record for most receiving yards in a season.

Chicago

Injuries:  Best, Burleson, Young, Broyles, Pettigrew, Fairley, Williams, Sammie Lee Hill

Stafford tossed 3 TDs, had a 90 rating and 57% and 272 yards. Stafford scored 24 points with Calvin and bunch of scrubs WRS on a Bears’ defense that averaged giving up only 17.3 PPG. The Lions could not run the ball well either this day. The Bears got 16 points off of 4 turnovers in Lions field goal range. Stafford had 2 fumbles but neither were his fault due to pressure. Stafford’s pick was an overthrown ball ( that led to 3 Bears points) but still a good day for Stafford without most of his weapons with a 90 rating.

True Record (win): 15-4 not 1-18

Summary

Based on Stafford’s play, the Lions should be 15-4 against winning teams. Combine that with the 5-1 against .500 teams, Stafford is a 20-5 true record based on how well he played. The Lions earned those 18 losses but Stafford only earned 4 of the 18.

Due to injuries, fluke plays (LOLLoins moments) (not Stafford’s fault) and poor defense/special teams the Lions ended up 1-18 in those games.

The injuries might not stop (especially Delmas) but the 16 lost fumbles could turn into only 8-10, missed field goals in big games may cease to exist. The Lions defense could be better with 4 new DES and a new healthy secondary (Delmas,Bentley,Slay, Quin, Houston). The Lions had concentrated poor special teams play in 2 games causing 2 losses. This has never happened before in league history. The Lions run game could be better with Reggie Bush and better run blocking (Reiff, Warford). Wrong routes run by novice WRs, TD drops and redzone turnovers(8) could be cut in half leading to more wins.

Just one of those things mentioned in the paragraph above and the Lions win a lot of games with Stafford at the helm. Two or three of the above happening for Detroit, the Lions can win the division with Stafford. Back to back 5,000 yard seasons and 22.5 PPG on long drives shouldn’t be taken lightly by North opponents.

Detroit can move the ball and score even without the aid of short fields.  2012 type Lions season shouldn’t happen again, Stafford needs to stay healthy like in 2012. Stafford is a good QB against winning teams despite the Lions 1-23 record.

About the author(s)

Known as much for his in-depth analytical articles and statistically intensive style as his sometimes brash and confrontational tone, Russ Thomas covers the Detroit Lions beat for Water Cooler Sports. Feel free to contact him at .

1247 comments
MHB.
MHB.

This is some of the best comedy writing since the Golden Girls left our airwaves.

jimicos®
jimicos®

Long version ^^^^^

Short version: flukes

JVince 11
JVince 11

I heard that there is a new girl taking over for Paula Dean that is hot as fuck with huge tits.. Gaudia or something?


Now THAT is how the cooking channel SHOULD BE!!!

andylet445
andylet445

since prep is gone i'll post this


Classic Nardo
Classic Nardo

Where's the new article this one is still fucked up and depressing.

LambeauOrWrigley
LambeauOrWrigley

I just love this .... no reason. It is called the WAT machine gun.

andylet445
andylet445

finally this place stinks of the fluke variety of fish.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

  

If I want to see big tits, I'm NOT going to the food channel.

Pat Fenis, Esq.
Pat Fenis, Esq. moderator

 Her head is way too small for her body to the point it is distracting.

andylet445
andylet445

if they had a true naked chef starring giada de laurentiis i'd be in the kitchen every minute cooking.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

  

Pussies worry about interceptions.

- Jay Cutler

Pat Fenis, Esq.
Pat Fenis, Esq. moderator

32 INTs in 2070 passing attempts over the past 4 years. Crazy.

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

 

TMonson is taking his sweet ass time with it

And yes, that was meant to be sexual.

JVince 11
JVince 11

 these should just be deleted from this websites archives...

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

  

Fucked up and annoying.

JVince 11
JVince 11

 I posted this yesterday....



YOU HAVE BEEN JVINCE'D!

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

  

Later, bitch.

JVince 11
JVince 11

  I miss growing up and watching porn on the blurry channels.. 


"Okay.. that is definitely a tit!!! that is such a nice tit!!!"

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Most women's heads will look smaller when compared to Bewbs like that! 

JVince 11
JVince 11

  holy shit.... look at the fun bags on that one... more?

JVince 11
JVince 11

  she will get her crew to wax you clown!

LambeauOrWrigley
LambeauOrWrigley

 "Nelson’s second choice, however, wasn’t the expected touchdowns or passer rating or yards. It was completion percentage."

Rodgers is right now ranked career #2 in completion percentage behind of all the people Pennington.  That is short lived.  He will be #1.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

    

Usually, I just hit ALT + TAB

JVince 11
JVince 11

   Hilary Duff, Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus.... there is some nice tail ove rthere too.

JVince 11
JVince 11

  don't get too close to the cutting board while doing that.

JVince 11
JVince 11

  Raji... with that hand and lips like that.. I expected more magical gifs out of you...


JVince 11
JVince 11

   4th down with 4 seconds to go and a FG wins the game from the 20... FUCK IT I"M GOING DEEP!


-Cutler