Stafford completed 20 of 29 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns during Sunday's 35-11 victory over Green Bay. He also caught a two-point conversion while rushing twice for two yards. Stafford capped off another statistically-strong season in Detroit by putting together one of his most masterful games in recent memory, as his 140.4 passer rating was his highest mark since 2015. The Georgia product ended the campaign in style, too, sneaking behind the Packers defense to catch a two-point conversion on a trick play in the fourth quarter. Stafford will now finish the season with a fantastic stat line that includes 4,446 yards passing, a 65.5 completion percentage, 7.9 YPA mark and 29:10 TD:INT ratio -- while being sacked 47 times, the second-highest total in the league. He'll now proceed into the second year of the massive extension he signed last summer expecting to have the same underrated but potent nucleus of wideouts back at his disposal -- one that includes a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, along with an ascending deep threat in 2017 third-rounder Kenny Golladay. If the Lions can finally find an answer at the running back position this offseason, Stafford could realistically improve upon his 2018 numbers if opposing defenses are forced to station more players closer to the line of scrimmage. However, it's possible the Lions move on from head coach Jim Caldwell this offseason, which could signal the start of an adjustment period for the entire team.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said he won't give any consideration for resting Stafford during Sunday's season finale against the Packers, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. The 8-7 Lions were officially eliminated from playoff contention after their Week 16 loss to the Bengals, but with a winning record for the season still achievable, it doesn't sound like the team will rest its regulars for an otherwise meaningless finale. Stafford has been playing through a bruise on his throwing hand throughout this month and sprained his ankle in late November, but it hasn't translated to a dramatic downturn in his productivity over the last five games. During that time, he's completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 272.6 yards per game and seven touchdowns. He shouldn't have much difficulty finding success against a vulnerable Green Bay secondary that he torched for 361 yards through the air in the two sides' previous matchup this season.
Stafford completed 25 of 33 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns during Saturday's 20-10 victory over the Bears. He also lost a fumble while rushing once for minus-1 yard. Stafford appears to be operating at full health, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported that Stafford didn't tape up his bruised throwing hand Saturday and won't need to moving forward. Even with this recent injury, Stafford currently boasts an 80.2 percent completion rate over his past three games. He was passing at a 62.5 percent clip in the 11 games prior. While he only completed two of 10 passes that traveled over 10 yards Saturday, Stafford excelled in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field and finished with an 86.9 completion rate on passes that traveled 10 yards or under. For those who think this increased efficiency is unlikely to persist through the season's final two games, consider this: in Week 16, he'll be playing against a Bengals team that could be without both of its regulars at cornerback and possibly its entire linebacking corps. Then, in Week 17, Stafford hosts a Packers secondary that recently lost its top draft pick, cornerback Kevin King (shoulder), to injured reserve, and could be without their other starter at the position, Davon House (shoulder), as well. Even with those two healthy for most of the season, Green Bay still ranks 29th in quarterback-rating allowed (98.2).
Stafford (hand) completed 36 of 44 passes for 381 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in Sunday's 24-21 win over the Buccaneers. Stafford had apparently looked increasingly better each day in practice this past week, and he parlayed that improvement into his second-best passing yardage total of the season. The veteran signal caller connected with eight different pass catchers on the afternoon and led an eight-play, 49-yard drive that set up a game-winning field goal by Matt Prater with 20 seconds remaining. It was Stafford's fourth 300-yard effort of the season, and he's also thrown for between 292 and 299 yards in three other games. He'll look to continue his strong season against the Bears in Week 15.
Stafford (hand) is listed as active Sunday at Tampa Bay. As he did throughout the week, Stafford will take the field Sunday with the ring and pinkie fingers taped on his bruised right hand, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Playing through a finger issue last season, Stafford completed 59.5 percent of his passes, averaged 271.3 yards through the air per game, and posted two touchdowns versus three interceptions across four outings.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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