E:60 video of Matthew Stafford

E:60 - Matthew Stafford (7:43)

Since being picked No. 1 in the 2009 NFL Draft, Matthew Stafford has heard the approving roar of Detroit Lions fans. E:60’s Rachel Nichols travels with Stafford to his hometown of Dallas, TX to see where his football life began and where it's going. (7:43)

Here is the full video of the E:60 feature on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford that debuted Tuesday night. The piece alternates between Stafford's upbringing as a Texas football prodigy and his well-documented health issues during his first two NFL seasons.

What struck me is that, in 2012, Stafford has encountered something that falls into neither of the dominant storylines of his career: He isn't playing well, or at least not up to the standard he set during a breakout performance of 2011.

Stafford isn't among the NFL's top 15 passers in either passer rating or QBR, having thrown only five touchdown passes in six starts. His early-game inaccuracy has been a part of why the Lions are getting outscored 77-37 in the first half of games this season.

Entering Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears, in fact, Stafford was either overthrowing or underthrowing one out of about every four passes (26.7 percent) in the first quarter of games, based on video analysis by ESPN Stats & Information. That percentage dropped in each ensuing quarter, to a low 15.7 percent in the fourth, but he and the Lions have been able to overcome only two of the early deficits they've faced this season.