A weekly examination of the Lions’ quarterback play.
Rewind: Defining moment? Yep, it was one of them for Matthew Stafford on Sunday. He had thrown two interceptions. His team was trailing by six points with 1:02 left. What he did next won’t be forgotten in Detroit for a while. He led his team 80 yards in 50 seconds, capped by a fake spike-turned-touchdown-run with 12 seconds left to give the Lions the win. Along the way, he threw for 488 yards, 329 of them to Calvin Johnson, who posted the second-best receiving day in NFL history.
Fast-forward: The Lions and Stafford are off this week, so it will be a good time for him to rest an arm that has thrown an NFL-leading 338 passes, completing 62.4 percent of them. He’ll need the rest, too, because Detroit heads to division rival Chicago and then Pittsburgh after the off week.
On pace for a big year: At the midway point, Stafford is on pace for the best yardage season of his career. Through eight games, he has completed 211 of 338 passes for 2,617 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. More importantly for Detroit, he’s been making mostly good decisions during the Lions’ 5-3 start and has helped put Detroit in position for its second playoff berth in three seasons. Stafford is not quite on a personal-best pace for touchdowns (he had 41 in the 2011 season), but he has been much better placing the ball this season.
Prediction: Stafford won’t throw any touchdowns or interceptions this week. He’s off.