Allen Park — Any other response would’ve been alarming, but Matthew Stafford said Tuesday he does not think he has an accuracy problem.
“I feel like I’m throwing the ball pretty good,” he said. “Obviously, I’ve missed a couple. I missed a 70-yarder to (Calvin Johnson last weekend), and that’s like a long foul ball. You’re not going to hit those all the time.
“Every game there’s throws you want back and things like that, but I feel like I’m putting the ball in good spots for guys to make plays.”
Stafford has completed 61.3 percent of his passes this season, which ranks second in his career (63.5 percent, 2011). Stafford’s completion percentage this season, however, ranks 15th in the NFL.
And it seems every week he has a few overthrows that would’ve been big plays, including the one to Johnson and others to Ryan Broyles and Kris Durham.
Of course, Stafford’s big arm does come in handy for the Lions, like when he said he “ripped” a third-quarter pass to Kevin Ogletree for a 43-yard gain on third-and-20 on a drive that resulted in a touchdown.
Finding the right mix of passes can be difficult, but Stafford said he tries to play naturally.
“There’s just a lot of variables that go into (deep balls),” he said. “You sit there and you think you miss a couple, and then you hit a couple and they make big plays for you.
“Obviously I want to make every throw. I want to complete every pass; I want to throw for as many yards as I can, as many touchdowns as I can to help our team win. I will continue to do that for as long as I’m playing the game.”
Stafford finished last weekend 28-for-51 for 357 yards and three touchdowns.
This week, the Lions draw a Cowboys pass defense that has been hot and cold. It allowed 414 yards and four touchdowns to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in a Week 5 loss, but 194 yards in a 17-3 victory over the Eagles last weekend without top defensive end DeMarcus Ware.
Dallas is tied for sixth in the league in interceptions (nine) and tied for seventh in sacks (20).
While he has missed some throws, Stafford has been much more efficient this year than last. His rating of 95.3 is up from last season’s 79.8, largely because he has 15 touchdowns and four interceptions compared to last year’s ratio of 20-17.
And, Stafford’s number should be better because, according to Pro Football Focus, the Lions lead the NFL with 26 drops. Granted, the Lions have leaned on some receivers with little experience.
“That takes some getting use to,” Stafford said.
“But at the same time, I can always be better.”