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The Rise of Matthew Stafford

Photo courtesy of All-Pro Reels Photography

Matthew Stafford is in no way, shape or form a Hall of Famer, after Sunday’s Super Bowl win. Yes, like many people I am really excited that he finally won a Super Bowl. Yes, he was pretty clutch in the playoffs this year and yes, he proved he could win on the big stage. 

However, the Rams Super Bowl victory doesn’t automatically place him on the road to Canton for numerous reasons. Winning a Super Bowl doesn’t mean people should start thinking, ‘yep he’s a hall of famer’. Those who think so are jumping on the hype train and need to take a step back.

Personally I think we have lowered the bar for the Hall of Fame too low in recent years. Too many players that deserve to be in the hall of really good, get in. Stafford is in that boat. He was severely underrated in Detroit, surrounded by bad talent, management and ownership. But, just because he could’ve been a better quarterback elsewhere and what he did do in Detroit is impressive, doesn’t warrant a gold jacket. Look at his teammate in Detroit, Calvin Johnson. 

Johnson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past year. Johnson was a dominant and consistent wide receiver with a sucky team. Just like Stafford he stayed loyal, probably too loyal to Detroit. However, unlike Stafford, he was named to First-Team All-Pro three times, Second-Team All-Pro once, six consecutive Pro Bowl honors, and selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s. 

Stafford on the other hand, so far in his career, has never been named to the all decade team, doesn’t have an All-Pro, not been named MVP, only has one Pro Bowl (which honestly means less nowadays), and didn’t even get named the MVP of the Super Bowl.

When you think of the 2010s in Detroit, you think of Megatron. He was the best player on that Lions team. Johnson is the Lions franchise leader in basically every wide receiver statistic, and is the franchises greatest wideout. Even ranked against other HOF wide receivers, Johnson ranks in the middle of three of the four major categories, leading yards per game. Why this is impressive is because he only played nine seasons, retiring way earlier than most thought, yet despite his limited season he stacks up equally against people who had years on him. 

This is the kind of player you put into the HOF. Not a player who, although pretty good and a nice story, joins a NBA-like super team and wins the Super Bowl. I understand the Super Bowl is way harder to win, i.e. my Packers, but it is a team and he had two HOF’ers on his defense meaning he wasn’t carrying the team necessarily. 

Now, I’m not saying he won’t make it into the HOF by the end of his career. He has played so long that he ranks pretty high in most stat lists, and he has played better than most, especially in Detroit. For me to make it to the HOF you have to be the one of the best if not the best player of your position for multiple years. You have to show the playoff consistency and hardware/awards. Stafford just hasn’t gotten there yet. If he wins another Super Bowl or two or wins MVP in the next few years, then give me a call.

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