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#pounditSaturday, April 17, 2021

Matthew Stafford not responding to Rich Gannon’s criticism

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford was hit with some criticism from Rich Gannon this week, but he’s not wasting his time with a response.

On CBS Sports Network’s “NFL Monday QB” this week, Gannon ripped Stafford as overpaid and a “stat king.”

“The guy is overpaid,” Gannon said. “He’s been one of the highest-paid quarterbacks over the last four or five years and he’s a stat king. He picks up a lot of yards and production in garbage time.”

Gannon, a former league MVP turned analyst, said he was sick and tired of talking about Stafford and said the QB doesn’t play well enough early in games to give his team a chance to win close ones.

The Detroit Lions quarterback was asked about Gannon’s criticism Thursday and took the high road.

“I don’t need to answer to Rich Gannon,” Stafford said, via the Detroit Free Press.

Stafford shouldn’t have to, either (he can leave it to his wife to defend him). Stafford is an easy target thanks to his status as a former No. 1 pick and highly-paid QB, but to call him anything other than a franchise quarterback is wrong.

He’s offered the team tremendous stability this decade and allows the Lions to at least be competitive in most games and seasons. The team is in transition this year under Matt Patricia and has been blown out in a few contests, such as the opener against the Jets, who picked Stafford’s signs. The Lions as a whole have not been sharp; they gave up 10 sacks in their loss to Minnesota, and their special teams have hurt them throughout the season, leading to a firing. To ignore all that and just pick on Stafford as a “stat king” is shortsighted and lazy.

Oh, and for the stat king claim about production only coming in garbage time? Stafford has led the league in game-winning drives three different seasons, so apparently they’re not all garbage stats.


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