Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford ranked behind Jay Cutler and Tony Romo? It's understandable why

Look, nobody has banged the drum louder for Matthew Stafford than I have. I thought the Lions should draft him first overall and said so as loudly as I could, and took shot-after-shot from a long line of Lions fans who wanted them to take an offensive tackle (Jason Smith) or a linebacker (Aaron Curry) instead.
When Stafford was hurt, and there were cries of "China Doll," I didn't think it was that significant in the long run because none of the injuries appeared to be lingering.
And he is a brilliant talent, absolutely capable of leading the Lions to a Super Bowl victory some day.
But I find any outrage about Stafford being ranked behind Tony Romo and Jay Cutler in a recent ESPN player ranking misguided.
At this stage, Stafford has accomplished relatively little in his career. He has put up impressive numbers for one season and not won a playoff game. Romo and Cutler have proven they can sustain their performance statistically for a longer period. Cutler has taken a team within a win of reaching the Super Bowl, although that game didn't, ah, go well.
My point is, Stafford is still mostly about potential. Will he be better than Cutler and Romo in the future? Highly likely, but his resume is still in the beginning stages of development. There is a lot more for him to accomplishment before he vaults over the best-of-the-rest among NFL QBs such as Cutler and Romo, and starts to rank with the truly elite like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and, yes, Eli Manning. It begins with winning a playoff game.


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