The Detroit Lions made the playoffs this past season for the first time since 1999 and quarterback Matthew Stafford was a big reason why. The #1 overall pick in the 2009 draft played 16 games for the first time in his 3-year career and the result was the 5th most passing yards in a single season in NFL history. In 2011 Stafford completed 63% of his passes for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns. For his season Stafford was named by the Associated Press as the Comeback Player of the Year. Despite his gaudy statistics one NFL Network analyst was apparently not impressed and feels like Stafford simply did what he was supposed to do.
Faulk, a Hall of Fame running back who played with former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, recently said he was unimpressed by Stafford’s 5,000-yard season in 2011. Instead of giving Stafford praise, he said those type of numbers are now the norm in today’s NFL.
“Throwing for 5,000 yards in the NFL right now is nothing,” Faulk said. “I don’t want to take anything away from it. As much as people throw the football now, you better have 5,000 (yards) if you have Calvin Johnson.”
Drew Brees (5,476) and Tom Brady (5,235) also threw for over 5,000 yards last season. Ten quarterbacks threw for 4,000+ yards. Twenty threw for over 3,000 yards. With the NFL turning into a more passing oriented league I would agree that 3,000 yards today isn’t what it used be but 5,000 is still alot and isn’t the norm, atleast yet. Having Calvin Johnson, who was on the receiving end of 1,681 (or about 33%) of Stafford’s yards, doesn’t hurt but he wasn’t the only one hauling in passes. Stafford had a great season, one that resulted in him only being named an alternate for the Pro Bowl. No telling if Marshall Faulk had anything to do with that.