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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Sean McVay defends Matthew Stafford over playoff record

Sean McVay on the sideline

Sean McVay put a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford to make the Los Angeles Rams a Super Bowl contender. McVay did it despite Stafford having no track record of playoff success, and the coach’s level of faith has not changed.

McVay on Thursday defended his quarterback’s lack of playoff success, offering a firm response when asked if he thinks Stafford needs to prove he can win a playoff game.

“No,” McVay said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “He has an established resume. That’s something that you want to be able to do, but he was instrumental in leading us to our first division title that we’ve had since 2018. That’s a big deal, but now it’s the next step. His body of work speaks for itself, and I don’t think you can just confine it into, ‘Oh, he hasn’t won a playoff game.'”

NFL quarterbacks are often judged by how they perform in the biggest games. That is why Tom Brady is as highly-regarded as he is. Stafford turns 34 in February without those types of signature moments, and when that’s the case, questions will inevitably follow. A late-season spike in interceptions, including eight in his final four games, has only added to the pressure.

Stafford is clearly respected around the league, and his 0-3 playoff record says more about how few chances to succeed he got with the Lions than anything else. If he can put together a strong performance against the Cardinals on Monday, the questions will start to fade.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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