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NFL Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions: Can Matthew Stafford Throw For 5,000 Yards Once Again?

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford is one of the NFL‘s up-and-coming stars. Heck, he’s already a star and he has only played two full seasons since joining the league.

The former-Georgia quarterback had bad luck in his first two NFL seasons, playing just 12 games total and throwing for just under 3,000 yards. After his second season, all hope for a promising career looked lost. He was supposed to be the future of the Detroit Lions and take them to the playoffs for the first time since Barry Sanders roamed the backfield.

Well, after his second major injury in 2010, things looked grim for the young gunslinger. Questions were raised about whether he was tough enough for the league or if he would ever fully recover.

If you’ve been following the NFL for the past two seasons, you would know the answers to those questions. Yes, he is tough enough for this league and has proved so on many occasions, taking a beating game after game. Also, yes, he did fully recover. He recovered enough to pass for just over 10,000 yards in two seasons to go along with 61 touchdowns.

Sure, these numbers are impressive, even becoming one of the first quarterbacks to ever pass for over 5,000 yards in a season — his first full season at that. However, the question begs to be answered: can he repeat his success on a consistent basis?

He has shown a glimmer of his consistency with a 5,038-yard season in 2011 followed by a 4,967-yard year in 2012. While these seasons seem positive, most of his numbers dropped in 2012, including completion percentage — by four percent — and touchdowns by 21.

Maybe this was just a type of ‘sophomore-slump’ in his second full season — not that you can call a near-5,000 yard season a slump.

Is the 25-year-old signal-caller for the Lions ready for yet another year of stardom? Or will he suffer like the Lions did in 2012? It’s looking like Stafford may be poised for yet another career year with the help of Calvin Johnson and a nice receiving running back like Reggie Bush.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.