Next Gen Stats: Stafford vs LAC

this is great article from Eric Schlitt today. I had no idea there was such a website for stats.

It definitely shows the degree of difficulty Stafford has to deal with when having receivers who don’t get much separation.

Galladay and Marvin Jones were in the bottom 10% of the league at getting open for this game, and that figure carries over to all the other games most likely. They had the same problem last year and the year before.

The Lions are lucky to have such an accurate QB! Very few have the arm strength to complete those difficult passes with often one yard windows of separation.

Wide receiver separation

In Week 2, there were 134 pass catchers who each saw at least five targets and they averaged 3.06 yards of separation away from defenders. The Lions only had two pass catchers targeted that frequently and were well below average in gaining separation:

Marvin Jones — 1.9 yards of separation (11th worst of 134 qualifiers)
Kenny Golladay — 2.0 yards (13th worst)

That lack of separation requires aggressiveness from a quarterback in order to have success.

Passing aggressiveness

Against the Chargers, Stafford threw 30 passes and NGS assigned him with an aggressiveness rate of 20-percent (7th most in the league). That means six times on Sunday, Stafford targeted a receiver when there was a defender within one yard or less of the receiver at the time.

Improbable completions

With minimal separation from receivers and an aggressive passer, you’re going to get some improbable completions.

For this statistical model, NGS uses “The probability of a pass completion, based on numerous factors such as receiver separation from the nearest defender, where the receiver is on the field, the separation the passer had at time of throw from the nearest pass rusher, and more.”

In Week 2, there were 20 plays that met these criteria and Stafford made two of them.

Here’s a look at the play that came in as the 8th most difficult, with only a 23.3-percent chance of being completed:

The game-winning touchdown pass to Golladay was even more difficult according to NGS, with only a 21.4-percent chance of being completed.

Stafford has made throws like this his entire career, but there is one area he has made drastic improvements — and it points directly to offensive coordinator Darrel Bevell’s influence.

Air Yards to the Sticks (AYTS)

“Air Yards to the Sticks shows the amount of Air Yards ahead or behind the first down marker on all attempts for a passer. The metric indicates if the passer is attempting his passes past the 1st down marker, or if he is relying on his skill position players to make yards after catch.”

Only 10 quarterbacks averaged throws past the first down marker and Stafford finished 2nd best in the NFL averaging 2.1 yards past the marker.



He’s better than most give him credit for



1 Like

Hell yes he is.
He certainly isn’t perfect but he’s so under appreciated by his own fan base it’s criminal.

1 Like

Great site. Lots of interesting stuff. It should be noted though that not all the Lions receivers aren’t not getting separation. Jesse James and DA rank 7th and 11th best respectively this year out of the same group.

And seeing Keenan Allen near the bottom by Golliday and MJ, I’m not sure to make of all that in full context

1 Like

It’s a 2 way street for all the people who under appreciate Stafford, there is just as many that over rate him too.


I’d argue that there would be a little less under appreciation if there were a little less over appreciation. Sir Isaac Newton might explain it better…

1 Like

Regardless of the topic the extremist on both sides of any debate talk out of their ass and try to create a false narrative.

1 Like

I completely agree.

As for the separation topic.

Golladay lasted to the 3rd round due to his lack of route running. He’s improved in this area but it’s still a weakness. Marvin Jones was also never known to be a quality route runner. Keenan Allen is one of the leagues best route runners and we saw first hand how hard it was for Slay to stick to him.

Lack of a run game makes it easier for DB’s because their not hesitating as much. Mainly because our run game doesn’t scare anybody. SDC also ran 5 DB’s most of the game. We should have had more success running than we did. But we didn’t and this makes it harder on the WR’s to get separation.

As our run game improves and the more Stafford tucks the ball and runs the easier it will get for WR’s to get separation.

Why not just call it like you see it, instead of trying to shoe horn arguments in an attempt to go after people that you perceive as being “too positive?”


As my grandpa would say …“Baaaahhhh! Nonsense.” People do what they do, and are who they are. Some people are negative Nancy, some people are generally positive. It shows up everywhere in life. How you do one thing is how you do all things. Truth is, we are all meeting our needs by being here. Is it fun? How so? Are we showing up like little boys, or kings? Searching for connection in very different ways? Through the drama, or through genuine connection? Some of the pro-Stafford dudes could theoretically do it for the same reason, in the same way as the guys that argue against Matt…in theory. Something to think about? Dunno?

Driven by significance? Connection? Certainty? Variety? You can see how people come to the same place to meet different needs. We all are meeting all of those needs, but which ones do you lead with? What are your drivers? We can choose. One choice might make you happier? A better person for wife, kids, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc to be around.


LOL…good call.
Some people can only thrive when there is conflict.


Yup - get significance from being in drama. Addicted to the feelings of conflict. Comfort zone isn’t very comfortable, but it’s what they’re accustomed to.


I am calling them like I see them. I’m shoe horning nothing.

My point about this post is that those who are gung ho give license to those who are bashers. I see the same people totally slobber over Stafford, but then start crying when someone is overly critical.

THAT was my point.

Thanks for not getting it.

P.S. I don’t think I’m overly critical. I think he’s about 10-15 best QB in the league. We should not be paying him like he’s 1-3. I don’t excuse everything he does and he has flaws. I like some of his game.

Aren’t you the same guy that has repeatedly stated that Stafford can’t operate under center? That is is beyond his ability?


Maybe you should read what I say more carefully instead of paraphrasing and giving it a whole new meaning?

Maybe you’ll have much less to object to?

Just saying.

Uh, yes you have.

No, I haven’t.

What you’re doing is taking what I’ve said and paraphrasing it while taking it out of context.

It’s dishonest.