"I can't quantify how much better (the offense is) going to get, but I do think the second year in the offense is going to be great, going to be big for the quarterback," Mayhew said. "Some of the routes and the way that we run them were totally different for Matthew. He hadn't thrown those routes in college or when Scott Linehan was our offensive coordinator, so some of that was a learning process for him. He had a bunch of new receivers out there, guys he hadn't really worked with that much. I think second year in the offense is going to be huge for him, individually."
Stafford threw for 4,257 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2014. It was his fourth consecutive season over 4,000 passing yards and fourth straight with at least 20 passing touchdowns.
Stafford put his team out to a quick lead, connecting with Golden Tate on a 51-yard touchdown less than five minutes into the game. He then drove the team down for another touchdown later in the quarter to give the Lions a big lead. Stafford's interception came on a batted ball on the first play of the second half, but it didn't cost the Lions after Dan Bailey missed a 41-yard field goal on the ensuing drive. However, the Lions offense mustered just a field goal through the entire second half and watched the Cowboys score 17 unanswered points to take the win.
The game was not without controversey, as a fourth-quarter flag against the Cowboys for pass interference on a pass from Stafford to Brandon Pettigrew was picked up after the penalty was announced, with no explanation given as to why the call was waved off. The noncall came on third-and-1 near midfield, and the ensuing shanked punt set the Cowboys up with great field position on what would turn out to be the go-ahead touchdown drive. Stafford acknowledged to media after the game that he believed the pass-inference call should have stood.
Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson hooked up for two of his touchdowns, one for 20 yards and the other for four.
Stafford finished off his day finding running back Theo Riddick for a dump off touchdown pass at the end of the fourth quarter.
Stafford finishes the regular season 4,257 yards and 22 touchdowns. It is his fourth consecutive season over 4,000 passing yards and fourth straight with at least 20 passing touchdowns.
Stafford and the Lions will head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in the wild card round of the NFC playoffs.
So of course, Stafford throws for 243 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
The performance could have been so, so, so much better. He threw one of those interceptions in the end zone and another just short of the end zone. But the fact is he completed those passes to Bears and not Lions, and so it was an awful performance despite a favorable matchup.
Stafford has been one of the most up-and-down quarterbacks in Fantasy this season, but the one thing he appeared to have going for him was that he played to the matchups. Remove predictability from the equation, and he's as frustratingly inconsistent as Cam Newton.
How can you trust him Week 17 at Green Bay? He threw two interceptions with no touchdown passes in his previous meeting with the Packers this year, so if you have a Mark Sanchez or even Newton type on the waiver wire, you might want to go that route instead.
Stafford finished 22 of 39 for 243 yards and his first two-interception performance since Oct. 19. The first pick was off a disastrous decision in the red zone and the second killed a promising opportunity as well.
He will try to play better in the regular season finale next Sunday at Green Bay.
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