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Will Matthew Stafford Stay Healthy and Become an NFL Elite Player?

Looking back through history, it’s a little hard to tell if the NFL had the same level of competition it has today. Sure, we can watch highlight reels of Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana, Steve Young, and other great QBs, but they weren’t all playing one another.

In today’s league, there are multiple quarterbacks playing who may go down as some of the greatest of all time, and if not they’re at least considered to be in the “elite” category. Just name them off: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, and even guys like Tony Romo and Michael Vick, while not earning any HOF votes, are still “elites” when playing.

And quite a few QBs on rosters last year were elite players winding down their careers, like Donovan McNabb and Brett Favre, so to say the league is packed full of talent at the QB position is an understatement.

We’re witnessing more talent with this generation of players than at any other time in the league’s history. It’s something we would all do well to stand back and look at in proper perspective.

A stat that’s even more exciting for the QB connoisseurs out there: many potentially great quarterbacks were either on the bench this year, just starting out their careers, or in the case of Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, on the IR.

What are the realistic odds that Stafford fully recovers from his injury and has a great career?

Speaking in practical terms only, taking the fan angle out of it, even heavy gamblers wouldn’t place much money on Matthew Stafford having a great career after suffering two major shoulder injuries, the latest of which required surgical repair.

The safe bet would be to play online craps for real money or to bet that any Lions QB can pad his stats throwing to Megatron. But to give Stafford good odds based on statistics over a career is like saying Detroit will be in the Super Bowl next year – a real long shot.

It’s impossible to predict the future. Even weathermen are hacks 50% of the time, screwing the pooch on the forecast. So to break this down, we see only two realistic ways Stafford’s future can go. Scenario one, he’s Chad Pennington. Scenario two, he’s Brett Favre.

Chad proved that a shoulder injury is one of those unfortunate things that happen time and again, especially in the most exposed position in the league. Mel Gibson taught us this in Lethal Weapon, but we’re Danny Glover fans.

Pennington’s career has been extremely rough due to his injury-laden nature. He’s never been considered amongst the elite NFL QBs.

So is this what Stafford has in his future – more shoulder injuries to sideline his efforts?

Reviewing the statistics, it’s a resounding yes. Stafford just has the odds stacked against him. Instead of betting on his return, go blow your roll with the best Mac casinos online, because 40:1 is crucial. But, again, that’s the statistical evidence.

With any quarterback, you have to judge them on their own. To date, Matthew has shown no signs of being Chad Pennington, and Lions fans should be very thankful for that.

Instead, he’s been showing a little of that Brett Favre gene. When he initially hurt his shoulder, he sat out a whopping 2 minutes before returning to the game and throwing a touchdown pass, and after this recent surgery, the news from the Lions’ management says that Stafford is working hard, recovering well, and eager to get back on the field.

Going into his third NFL season out of Georgia, Stafford has a great opportunity with Detroit to turn around the habitual losing and to finally right the ship. Their offense is extremely explosive, and the defense is improving a little more every year.

The key to Stafford staying healthy and becoming one of the elite QBs in the league is to stay on his feet. The O line needs to get better, his pocket awareness needs to increase, and he has to realize that while he has the heart of a Favre, he doesn’t have the iron body.

Judging Stafford on Stafford and not the dry statistics, we’ll give him 5:1 to be one of the NFL’s best in the coming seasons.

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One Response to “Will Matthew Stafford Stay Healthy and Become an NFL Elite Player?”

  1. What are the dry statistics you mention? You repeatedly say the odds are against him and the statistics show he won’t be an elite QB. The best test case that comes to mind for me is Sam Bradford. Dr. James Andrews said Stafford’s injury was extremely similar to Bradford’s, and he came back from it just fine.

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