During Sunday’s rout of the overmatched Jacksonville Jaguars, Matthew Stafford threw a pass across the middle that seemed no more thrilling or significant than the 21 other completions he made in the game. Except that pass gave Stafford more than 10,000 yards for his young career. In reaching that milestone, Stafford has placed his name among some of the greats in the history of the NFL.
Only one quarterback ever reached 10,000 yards quicker than Stafford, who did it in his 37th game. That was Kurt Warner, a pretty good quarterback. Stafford reached 10,000 yards (almost six miles) faster than Brett Favre, faster than Joe Montana, faster than Dan Marino. Pretty nifty accomplishment.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Stafford will earn a spot alongside those legendary QB’s, but his prolific passing is impressive. The NFL in 2012 is a passing league, a league where when it’s 3rd and 2, many teams are widening the field with several receivers and going to the air. The Lions are one of the most explosive air attacks in the game, and Stafford and his strong arm will continue to rack up good numbers.
For Lions fans the number that really matters is not 10,000, it’s zero. Zero, as in that’s how many Super Bowls the Lions have won in their history. Or how about one? Is that a good number? That’s how many playoff games the Lions have won in the last 50 years.
At just 24 years old, Stafford has a long road ahead of him, to be sure. He’s earned accolades in Detroit and given fans some hope – some hope – that their team might get a playoff victory and possibly even a title in the near future.
Next up for the young gunslinger is 20,000 and then 30,000 yards – a milestone reserved for only a a few dozen QB’s in the history of the game. With the weapons he has and time on his side, Stafford has a chance to climb to the level of some of the greatest passers in the history of pro football.