NFL Top 100: Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford Was Better Than No. 100

By Brian Kalchik
Matthew Stafford
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QB Matthew Stafford was the first name listed on the NFL Top 100 list, and although being first is normally good, Stafford was ranked as only the 100th best player in 2014 as voted on by his NFL peers. After being ranked 76th last year and 41st in 2012, Stafford had his worst statistical season in his past three seasons. He finished the season with a 59.5 completion percentage, 4,650 yards, 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions along with two rushing touchdowns. Despite his subpar season, Stafford is not the 100th best player in the NFL; in fact, he deserves to be a little bit higher on this list.

It was Stafford who helped guide Detroit get to a 6-3 start after nine games last season. Stafford threw for 19 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, including a 357-yard and three-touchdown performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, one of the best defenses in the NFL last season. Stafford also had good games against two other good defenses in the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, throwing for a combined 526 yards and six touchdowns. The second half of the season, however, both the Lions and Stafford struggled. The quarterback threw for just 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, including poor performances against the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants in Weeks 15 and 16.

In 2014, Stafford will be under center as the Lions’ signal caller, this time with a different head coach. Instead of having a defensive-oriented coach in Jim Schwartz, it will be former Indianapolis Colts head coach and Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. If he is indeed able to get Stafford back to an elite level like he has done in the past with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and Joe Flacco in Baltimore, Stafford will be a lock on this list once again, and could be even higher in this ranking. While Stafford currently has some issues he needs to address, you can’t tell me that there are 99 players who are more talented than Stafford is right now.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for Follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and connect with him on Google.

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