But, along with Matt Stafford's stellar season, it makes me wonder where Stafford compares at this point of his career compared to the greats, like Brees.
Like usual when I get into one of these moods, I've decided to waste my time with countless research to try and prove a point. I want to compare Stafford's first 28 career games with Brees, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and Tom Brady. Again, this is ONLY comparing the first 28 games of their careers. We will see how this goes ... and if my point is proven -- that Stafford compares favorably to some of the top quarterbacks to ever play the game.
(Writers' note -- playoff games are determined by how many each player had at the time of their 28th career game)
Matt Stafford -- 643 of 1,077 (59.7%) 7,320 yards 55 TD 35 INT (0 playoff games)
Drew Brees -- 540 of 909 (59.4%) 5,613 yards 29 TD 31 INT (0 playoff games)
Brett Favre -- 514 of 822 (62.5%) 5,346 yards 31 TD 30 INT (0 playoff games)
Peyton Manning -- 574 of 971 (59.1%) 8,951 yards 48 TD 42 INT (0 playoff games)
Dan Marino -- 548 of 884 (61.9%) 7,453 yards 68 TD 25 INT (4 playoff games -- 1 Super Bowl appearance)
Tom Brady -- 565 of 880 (64.2%) 5,942 yards 42 TD 23 INT (3 playoff games -- 1 Super Bowl victory)
It's clear that out of these six names, Marino is in a league of his own in every statistical category (other than yards). The touchdown to interception ratio is unbelievable, along with his playoff success. Right behind him -- and actually more successful in the playoffs -- is Tom Brady.
But, can you argue that Stafford has been just as good as any of these other quarterbacks? Of course. Don't forget that Stafford joined a Lions team that was coming off the worst season in NFL history and had to overhaul the entire roster (only 10 current players were on the 2008 team).
Is Stafford going to have the career that Favre, Brees, Manning, Marino or Brady have had? We won't know for probably quite some time. But, at this point of Stafford's career, he has shown that he may become one of the best to ever play the quarterback position.
Oh, and for those still doubting, these numbers should end any question whether the Lions got the first pick in the 2009 draft right.