Coming into this NFL season, experts’ predictions were rather dismal for the Detroit Lions. ESPN posted an article back in February, shortly after Super Bowl 50, stating their NFL power rankings for the upcoming season. They had the Lions in an insulting 23rd place, and had them finishing 3rd in their division behind Green Bay and Minnesota. Fast forward to today, and those predictions have been proven very wrong. While they were correct with Chicago being in last, rankings 1-3 in the NFC North were completely backwards, as Detroit sits in 1st place, Minnesota in 2nd, like they predicted, and a struggling Green Bay Packers team is in 3rd. So why did the experts get this wrong? One man: Matthew Stafford.
Before this season, CBSsports.com had Matthew Stafford rated as the 11th best quarterback for fantasy football. At the end of week 12, he is the 8th best quarterback to have on your fantasy team, with a whopping 2883 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and an impressive 5 interceptions through 11 games. This efficiency and ball control, along with the leadership and dedication Stafford has shown this season, is the main reason the Detroit Lions are soaring past the expectations that were set for them. And let’s not forget about the tremendous poise and confidence he has shown in pressure situations.
This season, the Detroit Lions are 1 of only 2 teams in the NFL that have trailed in every 4th quarter they have played in, and they somehow have collected 7 wins out of 11games. The other team to trail in every 4th quarter? The Cleveland Browns. They are 0-12. It takes guts and great knowledge to be able to constantly play from behind, and if this season has been any indication, Matthew Stafford has both of those traits. And because he is playing at such an elite level, the Detroit Lions are playing at an equally special level, and are having a very special season through 12 weeks.