All About Matthew Stafford: The Record-Breaking Quarterback

Matthew Stafford

Over the years, some incredible teams have graced the National Football League (NFL). If you study those stellar teams, you notice that some were offensive masterminds, while others had water-tight defenses. However, one attribute ties them together: they all had a top-tier quarterback. The quarterback position is the most important in an American football team. He is the player who calls the shots, leads the team, and makes things happen. It so happens that the Los Angeles Rams have an elite-level quarterback named Matthew Stafford.

Stafford was born in February 1988 in Tampa, Florida, although his family moved to Dallas, Texas. Stafford attended Highland Park High School, where Randy Allen coached him and turned him into one of the hottest prospects in Stafford’s year group. Even before Stafford had enrolled in college, the sportsbooks in California had begun predicting Stafford would be the overall number one pick in the NFL Draft. Their predictions became true.

The Georgia Bulldogs were delighted to have Stafford pulling the strings for their football team. Stafford played for the Bulldogs between 2006-08. He started 34 games and was on the winning team 27 times. Incredibly, Stafford threw 7,731 yards and 51 touchdowns during his college career, which had NFL team scouts clambering for his signature.

The Number One Overall Pick of the 2009 NFL Draft

As predicted, Stafford was selected as the first overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. The Detroit Lions, who had finished the previous season 0-16, snapped up Stafford and tied him to a four-year rookie contract worth a staggering $41.7 million in guaranteed money, the biggest such contract in the NFL at the time.

The Lions made Stafford their starting quarterback for the 2009 season, but the talented youngster could not turn around the team’s flagging fortunes. Stafford had a 2-8 record before a knee injury ended his rookie season; the Lions did not win another game without Stafford in the pocket and finished 2-14.

Injury limited Stafford to only three games in 2010, but he more than made up for his lack of game time with a superb 2011 campaign. Stafford threw a league-high 663 passes on his way to passing 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns as the Lions finished 10-6, their first winning season in 11 years.

Stafford continued producing superb performances for the Lions, but the rest of the Lions’ roster was not up to par. The team rewarded Stafford with a three-year $53 million contract extension in 2013 and another extension in 2017. Stafford put pen to paper on a five-year, $135 million contract with $92 million guaranteed. Such a deal made Stafford the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time.

The 2020 season was Stafford’s last in a Detroit Lions uniform because the Los Angeles Rams had him on their radar. The Rams were so desperate to secure Stafford’s services that they offered the Lions quarterback Jared Goff, their third-round pick for 2021, and two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. Stafford moved to the Rams, much to the disappointment of the Lions fans.

Winning the Super Bowl in His First Season

Stafford made his Rams debut in the opening game of the 2021 season. He played and started all 17 of the Rams’ games that year, finishing with a 67.2% pass completion rate, 4,886 yards, 41 touchdowns, and a 102.9 passer rating. With Stafford in the pocket, the Rams finished 12-5, enough to capture the NFC West divisional title. Stafford was excellent during the Rams’ playoff run, guiding them to victories over the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the San Francisco 49ers, setting up a clash with the Cincinnati Bengals at Super Bowl LVI.

The Rams emerged 23-20 winners on their home field, with Stafford instrumental in the victory. He threw 283 yards and three touchdowns, making him the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 6,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a regular season and postseason combined, all while leading a team to Super Bowl glory.

Another Bumper Contract

During the offseason of 2021, Stafford revealed he had been suffering from an elbow injury through the previous season, which made his performance even better. He underwent surgery on his elbow, but not before signing a four-year contract extension worth $160 million.

Injuries limited Stafford to nine appearances in 2022, and the Rams slumped to a 5-12 record. Stafford was back to somewhere near his brilliant best in 2023, although the Rams have been inconsistent. The Rams are 8-7 with two games remaining, and Stafford needs to drag them into the playoffs to give them a chance of another Super Bowl appearance.

Some of Stafford NFL Records

Stafford has over a dozen NFL records on his impressive resume. They include the youngest quarterback to throw at least five touchdown passes in a single game, the most games with at least one touchdown pass in a season (17), and the most consecutive 350+ yards passing games (4). Stafford is also the fastest player to reach 30,000, 35,000, 40,000, 45,000, and 50,000 career passing yards. He’ll likely break the record for 60,000 career passing yards during the 2024 campaign.


Every successful NFL team throughout history has had a supremely talented quarterback pulling the strings for them. Although the current Los Angeles Rams team cannot claim to be one of the NFL greats, they have one of the best-ever quarterbacks, the record-breaking Matthew Stafford, playing for them.

Stafford has shone brightly throughout his career, from a highly-rated youngster to a seasoned professional. While the Rams have been disappointing for the past two seasons, it would take a brave person to write off their chances for Super Bowl glory next year, especially when they have Stafford chomping at the bit as he enters the twilight of his long and illustrious career.

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