Matthew Stafford will reach 40,000 yards faster than anyone in NFL history. Does it matter?

Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Football

Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions could become the 21st quarterback in NFL history to throw for 40,000 passing yards Monday night in Green Bay.

Already, you can hear the yawns. And read stories undercutting the milestone. These stories aren't part of a conspiracy to downgrade the accomplishment, of course. Just an attempt to understand the boom of prolific passers.

Pass-favorable rule changes are part of the explanation. So are offensive strategies that emphasize throwing over running.

A couple of weeks ago, The Athletic Kansas City noted that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown 36% of Troy Aikman's touchdown passes in "about 8% of the games."

Aikman, Fox Sport's lead NFL analyst and a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, responded with this:

"Talk to me when (Mahomes) has 33% of my Super Bowl Titles."


OK, then.

Yes, winning matters. And because Stafford hasn't won at nearly the clip as most of the other QBs who've thrown for 40,000-plus yards -- he's 68-76-1 -- his ascension to the club will be viewed with skepticism.

As in: Stafford is a stat stuffer.

Yet even by today's pass-happy standard, reaching 40,000 yards is notable. In fact, as long as he throws for 352 yards in the next five games, he'll hit the mark faster than any quarterback ever. This says something, too.


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