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Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
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Matthew Stafford's Phenomenal 2011 Season

Recently ex-running back and now NFL analyst, Marshall Faulk, said he was not impressed with Matthew Stafford's 5,038 yard passing season. He says that throwing 5000 yards is the norm for the NFL now and if you have Calvin Johnson you better throw for 5000 yards. Which goes to prove a point I have made to others in the past. Just because you have a job in a particular field, it doesn't mean you really know what you are doing in that field. Faulk was a great running back in the NFL. As an analyst, he is only slightly more impressive than Matt Millen as a GM.

In the history of the NFL, only 4 players have thrown for 5,000 or more yards in a single season. Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Dan Marino were the other three. Only Brees has done it twice. As great as both the Manning brothers are, neither has thrown for 5,000 yards in a season. As great as Aaron Rodgers has been, he has not done it. Stafford did it in his first full season. How is that not impressive?

In 2011, after having off-season shoulder surgery, and at only 23 years old, Matthew Stafford had one of the best seasons ever for an NFL quarterback. His 5,038 yards is the 5th most in NFL history. Stafford's 421 completions ranks 5th most and his 663 attempts is 3rd highest. Stafford had 41 touchdowns in 2011 as well which happens to be the 7th most all time. I don't care who you are throwing to, those are extremely impressive numbers.

On a further note, Matt's 520 yard game against the Packers on New Years day 2012, was the 5th most yards in a single game ever and is the highest among all active quarterbacks.

Yes I will give in that Calvin Johnson just may be the best wide receiver to ever play the game, but he was not the sole reason for Stafford's great season. Calvin had 96 catches. That only ranks out as the 86th highest in history. That means Stafford threw 325 completions to receivers not named Calvin. Take Johnson out of the picture all together and Stafford still threw for 3,357 yards (which would rank him at 17th in the NFL last year), and 25 touchdowns (10th). Deducting Johnson all together and Stafford was still better than average, and that is a very flawed number because he still would have thrown those passes to someone to raise his numbers above those mediocre rankings.

There is no doubt that Calvin Johnson's presence makes Stafford a lot better. Just as Randy Moss made Brady better in his 50 TD season. Just as Welker and Gronkowski does now. Or as Jerry Rice made Joe Montana and Steve Young better. On the other hand, that fact can be turned around. One could easily say that Matthew Stafford's presence makes Calvin Johnson better. After all, this is Johnson's 5th season and by far his best. He had 350 yards, 4 touchdowns and 18 receptions above his career highs in those categories.

Marshall Faulk was a good running back, but comments like that only serve to discredit him as an analyst. Any way you try to cut it, Matthew Stafford, in his first full season as a Detroit Lion, had one of the best seasons ever for a quarterback in the NFL.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, i am reading this months after it was written, but at the time stafford accomplished the 5,000 yard feat he was ignored by the media. they always want to comment on his past injuries but failed acknowledge in 3 short years he has shown he is capable of this... and maybe even more(hopefully)