Stafford might be NFL’s best QB, analyst says

Jim Russ
The Detroit News
Matthew Stafford

Is the Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford the best quarterback in the NFL?

Fox Sports NFL analyst Peter Schrager says Stafford definitely should be in the conversation.

“Matt Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He might be the best quarterback in the entire NFL,” Schrager said on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”

Stafford has completed 146-of-212 passes for 1,648 yards this season, with 14 TD and four interceptions. His quarterback rating is 106.0 (third in the NFL), far above his career mark of 86.9.

As Schrager mentioned on the show, since Week 10 of last season, Stafford has 33 TD passes against six interceptions (+27 ratio), tied for best in the NFL over that period with Seattle’s Russell Wilson (30 TD, three INT, +27). Carolina’s Cam Newton is third (29 TD, seven INT, +22).

Schrager says Stafford is excelling despite the Lions’ limitations at other offensive positions.

“This is the youngest offensive line in Detroit since 1979,” he says. “It’s all first-, second- or third-year guys.

“The running back situation: Ameer Abdullah, down. Theo Riddick, down. Dwayne Washington, down.”

Lions mailbag: Give me Stafford over Aaron Rodgers

Schrager was joined on the program by former Lions receiver Nate Burleson and Burleson too sang the praises of what Stafford has accomplished recently.

“For so long he leaned on Calvin (Johnson) and rightfully so,” Burleson said. “When Calvin retired I said Matt Stafford would have a career year (in 2016) because he’s not leaning on the best receiver in the world, and everybody looked at me and they laughed.

“And I said wait and see. Because Matt Stafford will show that he’s more versatile than a guy that can just alley-oop a ball to Calvin Johnson. And he’s showing that right now with pieces that some would say aren’t as good as other teams’.”