When Matthew Stafford threw terrible interceptions on consecutive possessions Sunday -- one occurred in the end zone and the other went for a pick-six -- he appeared to sabotage the Lions' chance to take another step toward the NFC North title by beating the hapless Bears. He also damaged his case for MVP.
But those interceptions didn't end up costing the Lions the win. And, strangely enough, they might actually help his MVP case.
By throwing those two picks, Stafford ensured that he'd have a chance at another fourth-quarter comeback. And he seized his chance, rushing for a 7-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 3:17 remaining in the game. It ended up being the game-winning score in the Lions' 20-17 win.
So, Stafford has now registered eight fourth-quarter comebacks this season. According to the NFL Media Research Group, that's a record.
Peyton Manning previously held the record with seven comebacks in 2009.
So, while those two interceptions resulted in a not-so-great stat line for Stafford (a 64.3 passer rating), that comeback record might be more important to his MVP case, because if there's one thing the NFL community loves more than #QBWinz, it's fourth-quarter comebacks -- even when the quarterback is the entire reason why his team is losing in the first place.
In all seriousness, Stafford's experienced an incredible season under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter's guidance. He wasn't good on Sunday, but he still managed to do just enough to push the Lions' record to 9-4. And there's definitely tons of value in a quarterback who can do that -- even on an off day.