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Stafford Should Be in Pro-Bowl

When the 2012 NFL Pro-bowl rosters were released, there was a glaring mistake in the eyes of many. After Rodgers and Brees as the QBs for the NFC, it had Eli Manning listed and not Matthew Stafford.

Eli Manning has 69 more yards than Stafford, but that is the only statistic that is worth counting where Manning is better. Stafford has 10 more TDs, 2 fewer ITs, and completed 3.4% more of his passes. Stafford has thrown more and completed more and his passer rating is 6.3 better than Manning's. Many fans tend to believe it is just another example of Detroit not getting any respect. Let me assure you, respect has nothing to do with it.

One thing that has played a giant (no pun intended) role in keeping Stafford from being chosen was the broken finger he suffered after the bye-week. With a fractured finger on his throwing hand, Stafford donned a pair of gloves, and with them his accuracy suffered terribly. In the three games in which he wore the gloves, Matthew Stafford threw a total of 9 picks. To give you an understanding of just how bad that is, in the other 13 games in which Stafford did not wear the gloves, he only threw 5 interceptions. Think about that. In 12 games when healthy, Stafford averages only 0.41 picks a game. That is not even 1 turnover 2 two games. When injured, he averaged 3 picks per game. I guarantee you that if Stafford would have had 36 TDs and only 7 or 8 interceptions, he would be in the Pro-bowl.

Yet do we truly know just how good he is? I dare say those numbers are still a little deceiving. In many games this year, the play calling was horrendous and lethargic. The Lions offense often did not get going until after the halftime break. I cannot help but to wonder just what his numbers would be like if Stafford had not broken his finger and had an OC who was aggressive from the start of games.

There is no doubt in my mind that Stafford belongs in the pro-bowl. Other than Rodgers, Brees and Brady, no other QB in the NFL has been better when healthy this year. Even with the injury, no other QB has brought his team from larger deficits this year than Matthew Stafford has.

But there is a bright side to this oversight. Stafford will now have his focus on the Play-offs rather than the Pro-bowl, a game that few watch and means less than a preseason game. Considering the odds that the Lions very well could be facing the New York Giants in the first round, it will make the game that much more interesting as Matthew Stafford will be facing Eli Manning who was voted in ahead of him.

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