Matthew Stafford and the Lions pulled off a last second touchdown to beat the Miami Dolphins Sunday, 20-16. Stafford was on fire on the final drive going 8 for 11, 79 yards and, of course, the go ahead touchdown with 29 seconds left on the clock. This got me thinking, how clutch is Matthew Stafford?
Since coming into the league in 2009, Stafford has recorded 13 fourth quarter comebacks and 25 game winning drives. That's stunning considering the terrible, terrible teams he's been on. As I watched Stafford dismantle yet another defense late in the fourth, it reminded me of the risky/ballsy/awesome play he pulled off against the Dallas Cowboys just last season where he faked a spike and, basically, jumped over the line, extending his arms and hoped he broke the plane.
As a Cowboys fan, I was both pissed and not surprised, but that's neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is, Matthew Stafford is on pace to record 36 fourth quarter comebacks and 42 game winning drives by the time he reaches Peyton Manning's age. Those numbers would be on par with Dan Marino, Drew Brees and Joe Montana. Yet, we don't ever mention Stafford when the discussion of "clutch QB" comes up. Maybe his career is just still too green? Who knows but if he keeps playing like he has so far in his short NFL tenure, he'll be sure to find way into the conversation of most clutch quarterback all time.