The Stat Line of the Night – 11/22/09 – Matthew Stafford
After being drafted with the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL entry draft, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has struggled to live up to the high expectations that fans in Detroit have placed on him. It came to a point where we was the victim of a course of boos from the hometown crowd yesterday afternoon at Ford Field, as his team was trailed 24-3 in the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns.
So how do you get thousands of angry fans back on your good side in just a couple of hours. How about by throwing for 422 yards and five touchdowns as you lead your team to a thrilling comeback victory.
That is what Stafford did as he used some late game heroics to seal a 38-37 win for the Lions, their second of the season. After a rough start, the former Georgia Bulldog rebounded by throwing one touchdown at the end of the first quarter to Aaron Brown, two in the second quarter to both Kevin Smith and Calvin Johnson, and one more in the third to Will Heller before completing his big day in a rather dramatic fashion.
Down by six points, Stafford took his team to the Browns’ 32-yard line. With only eight seconds remaining, he would heave a desperation attempt into the end zone, but it fell incomplete. However, the officials had called pass interference on the play, leaving the Lions with one more shot, this time from the Cleveland one-yard line.
Stafford hurt his shoulder on the previous play and Dante Culpepper was expected to take over for Detroit’s final attempt, but a Browns timeout gave the rookie the opportunity to recover enough to throw one more pass. He did, and it would be completed in the end zone to Brandon Pettigrew for the touchdown, and the win.
It is unclear as to how long Stafford will be out because of the injury to his shoulder on the second last play of the game, but he should be able to use this win, and his impressive performance, to help ease some of the pain in the meantime.