Matthew Stafford made only one Pro Bowl in his 12 years in Detroit and now he has to wait yet another year to make it to a second one. Players, coaches and fans selected Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray over Stafford, even though Murray has missed three games of action.
During this Thursday’s edition of First Take, ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky went off over Murray making it over Stafford.
“I’m not going to get too emotional over this one, but Matthew Stafford not being in the Pro Bowl and Kyler Murray making it is stupid,” Orlovsky said. “Matthew Stafford is second in the NFL in touchdowns with 35, behind Tom Brady. Kyler is like 17th in touchdowns. Matthew has thrown for 300 yards per game. Kyler has thrown for 275 [yards per game].
“The numbers are so much better [for Stafford]. I can’t understand for the life of me how Stafford is not in the Pro Bowl.”
Several writers explained why they felt Stafford should have been selected over Murray in NFL Pro Bowl:
Doug Farrar wrote: “In his first season in Sean McVay’s system, Stafford has looked like a quarterback renewed — only Tom Brady (36) has more touchdowns than Stafford’s 35 in the NFL this season, and Stafford has connected marvelously with his receivers (especially Cooper Kupp) despite an offensive line and run game that has not always been top-notch, and McVay’s weird over-reliance on empty formations early in the season. … Murray has played well at times, but overall, Stafford has been the superior quarterback. Murray has 20 touchdown passes to Stafford’s 35, and both quarterbacks have thrown 10 interceptions.”
Nick Shook wrote: “Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers certainly deserve their Pro Bowl nods, but the choice of Kyler Murray over Stafford is interesting. Murray has been in the MVP conversation for much of 2021 (though he might have fallen out of it in recent weeks), yet Stafford has a better statistical résumé than Murray. Stafford’s Rams are also right on the heels of the Cardinals in the race for the NFC West, and Stafford outplayed Murray in their most recent meeting, which came as Pro Bowl voting was closing. There’s no doubt, however, that Stafford’s move to Los Angeles has elevated the Rams in both prestige and performance.”
Jordan Dajani writes: “Brady and Aaron Rodgers were going to make the Pro Bowl, but the voters opted to go with Kyler Murray over Stafford. It makes sense. Before Murray’s injury, he was probably the MVP favorite. But now, he’s lost three out of his last four starts and just got outperformed by Stafford head-to-head a couple weeks ago. By the way, if we are ignoring time missed, then put Derrick Henry in the Pro Bowl, too. Stafford is now third in the NFL in passing yards (4,142), second in passing touchdowns (35) and has the second-highest passer rating of starting quarterbacks behind Rodgers (108.2). Murray is a rising star, but Stafford’s late run could steal the division away from the Arizona Cardinals, and he could be better set up for a deep postseason run. Both are deserved, but there’s just one spot available. It makes for an interesting debate among fans in the NFC West. Vince Young still has more Pro Bowl appearances than Stafford.”
Stafford is having a great season where he has thrown 35 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions and racking up 4,142 yards in his first 14 games.
Murray, meanwhile, has 3,039 passing yards and 20 touchdowns.
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