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Matt Stafford is the New Barry Sanders

Stafford is ready to finally lead the Lions to the playoffs and shed the label of not-elite. — by Tyler Davis
Stafford is ready to finally lead the Lions to the playoffs and shed the label of not-elite. — by Tyler Davis

Up till now, Matt Stafford has wowed fans in the regular season with Madden-like stats, but has failed to turn that into wins or postseason success. Despite having thrown for over 4200 yards every year since 2011, the Lions have not won a playoff game. In fact, the Lions have only made the playoffs 3 times in his career. They have only had a winning record 4 times in his career.

Stafford has managed to put up Hall of Fame numbers while continuing to be on one of the worst teams in the league. Many have come out and used this to say that Stafford can not lead a team to win in the playoffs or even lead his team to the playoffs. Many also say that he only had those numbers because he had one of the most physically gifted receivers in history to throw to.

But what many refuse to see, is that those teams were terrible rosters that Stafford lifted to being average. He has been a part of some of the best passing offenses in the NFL history. But he has lacked the support on the defensive side of the ball to keep games from becoming shootouts. He has also lacked an elite ball carrier to help take the load off on offense.

His best running back may have been Reggie Bush in the two years he played in Detroit. Otherwise he has had the likes of Tatum Bell, Joique Bell, Mickel Leshoure, etc. No Lions Running back has lasted more than a few seasons. Their list of running backs is almost as humiliating as the Redskins. Their have been flashes but nobody has been able to keep the pressure off of Stafford.

The Lions defense has always been week. They have been slashed year after year by running attacks and have had maybe two good seasons while Stafford has been their. Stafford has done his best to elevate this team, but the front office has whiffed on too many prospects while allowing defenders to tee off on their quarterback.

Stafford has done everything to be a legend in the NFL. Despite playing with one of the worst rosters in history, he has continually put up insane numbers. He even made Roy Williams look good! Stafford is not as much of a legend as Barry Sanders, but he suffers from the same problems. They both have the hopes of an entire city on their back, but have a front office that continues to miss on talent around them.

Stafford will retire with Hall of Fame numbers, but may not be appreciated for them because of his lack of wins. This is sad when you see what he has been through. He continually fights through pain and injury to lead his offense. He is the lone survivor of this team. On any other team he would have won many more games, and it is a shame that he is still not appreciated.

This article was originally published on @td_writer78