So, Is Matthew Stafford a Hall of Famer Now?

Matthew Stafford, L.A. Rams
Matthew Stafford, L.A. Rams
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Super Bowl - Matthew Stafford did not receive a single vote for Most Valuable Player this year, even though teammate Cooper Kupp received one. 

Stafford was not named to any major All-Pro team; Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Joe Burrow were the choices of record. Stafford was not among the FIVE quarterbacks named to the official 2022 Pro Bowl roster: Rodgers, Brady, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins and Kyler Murray received those honors.

Stafford was not taken seriously as a Super Bowl MVP candidate; there has been some chatter after the fact about his three-touchdown performance, but those of us in the stadium were debating Kupp and Aaron Donald.

Yet, despite the fact that the story of Stafford’s 2021 season was “well, he was better than Jared Goff, but he kept almost screwing things up,” lots of folks are arguing that Stafford has ascended to Hall of Famer status because he “won a ring,” which will somehow bedazzle those dumb-dumb voters.


The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee does not count rings and scan leaderboards. The committee also does not forget the details of a player’s “signature” seasons the way casual fans and talkshow hosts do. Just the opposite, in fact: when a player reaches the finalist stage, voters examine dossiers, solicit testimonials and engage in debates that bring each player’s strengths AND weaknesses back to life. If Richard Sherman’s remarks on Twitter (see the link to Scooby Axson’s USA Today column below) are any indicator, Stafford won’t be getting many “testimonials” from his peers.

As for Stafford’s long string of statistically bulky seasons, they will not impress a single Hall of Fame voter. Again: this is an informed electorate that knows darn well that passing statistics have been going up steadily for decades.

Before Super Bowl LVI, Stafford had a 0.0% chance of reaching the Hall of Fame. I now estimate his chances, charitably, at about 20%, based on the possibility that Stafford could lead the Rams to a second Super Bowl or amass other late-career accomplishments. But if Stafford retires tomorrow, he is not a Hall of Famer. If all he does is hang around until age 40 compiling stats, he is not a Hall of Famer. 

And if Aaron Donald retires tomorrow, Matthew Stafford will never be a Hall of Famer.

But that's just my opinion. Here is a thread where you can voice yours! 

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144 comments, Last at 24 Feb 2022, 4:16pm

#1 by Boots Day // Feb 15, 2022 - 12:48pm

I've seen some people downplay Stafford's records from this year because he had Cooper Kupp to throw to, but Kupp had never had a season like this before. He set career highs in everything, and it's safe to assume that Stafford had a good deal to do with that. On the other hand, all that tells us is that Stafford is better than Jared Goff, which we already knew. 

My personal opinion is that Stafford is still behind Eli Manning as a candidate, and Eli has no business in the Hall of Fame. Maybe if the Rams beat the 17-0 Chiefs in next year's Super Bowl, Stafford will move ahead of Eli.


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#10 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:48pm

“I've seen some people downplay Stafford's records from this year because he had Cooper Kupp to throw to, but Kupp had never had a season like this before. He set career highs in everything, and it's safe to assume that Stafford had a good deal to do with that”

Exactly.  Other examples are Golden Tate and Marvin Jones.  Just look at their numbers when they were on the Lions, and them compare them to before they got there+after they left.  And the way Kenny Golloday dropped off the face of the earth when he went to a different team.

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#16 by UWashington // Feb 15, 2022 - 2:48pm

We'll see about Kupp, but the rest of your examples are not good. It's been one season for Golladay, and he went to the worse offense in the league. Both Golden Tate and Marvin Jones had their prime seasons with the Lions, so it doesn't really make sense to compare their stats with/without Stafford straight up. Tate, in particular, was also likely just as good before playing with Stafford (2012/2013, albeit with Russell Wilson) as with Stafford. It's just that his numbers were depressed because the Seahawks refused to throw the ball. 

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#19 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 3:08pm

It's an odd argument that Wilson is a HOF QB for a team who doesn't trust him to throw.

\because they don't

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#66 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 16, 2022 - 2:20pm

Fair point about Tate and Jones.  As for Golloday, I guess we'll see.  He didn't just have a down year, he had a horrific year.  As for Kupp, age 28 is pretty late for a wideout to have a "breakout" season, so given that the scheme didn't change all that much, it seems more likely than not that the quarterback change is a likely explanation.  He had one of the best WR seasons ever.  Sure, it's not like he came completely out of nowhere, but almost nobody was talking about him as one of the best wideouts in the game before this year.

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#74 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 16, 2022 - 5:46pm

Eric Ebron exploding with Luck in Indy? 

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#77 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 16, 2022 - 9:03pm

His “explosion” in 2018 was all red zone TD’s, which we all know is a fluky and volatile stat from year to year.  His receptions and yards were no different that his best DET years.  Unsurprisingly, the TD total turned out to be an outlier.  Even with Luck, his DVOA and DYAR were still barely above average, and didn’t come close to his career highs (which were in 2016 with Stafford).

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#104 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 19, 2022 - 11:20pm

which only caps yardage. 

Career high in yards and 13 TDs in his first year with Indy (16 games then 3 more in 11 games the next year) compared to 11 in 4 years with Detroit (56 games).

I guess if you want to go by DYAR and DVOA, Hockenson (hey another top 10 TE for Stafford, Detroit certainly tried) had his best year this past season without him. 


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#106 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 20, 2022 - 9:20am

Jack Doyle was injured for most of 2018, so Ebron got a ton of targets (110).  He briefly stopped dropping red zone targets that kept hitting him in the hands and chest, like he did in Detroit, then went back to his old ways.  In fact, most people were predicting his regression.  The Colts unsurprisingly seemed pretty ambivalent about letting him walk after his contract expired after 2019.

That career high in yards/catches was a whopping 5 more catches and 39 more yards than his previous highs in 2016....during which he played 3 fewer games and had 25 fewer targets.

Hockenson has been slowly improving each year, as you would expect a young tight end to do, but if you want to give that credit to Jared Goff, go right ahead.

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#108 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 20, 2022 - 9:53am

I guess it means target a backup TE a lot then? Makes sense. 

Yeah 13 touchdowns means regression. That unsustainable for anyone. 

And no one is crediting Goff. But that's the point, crediting Stafford for spamming dudes. But you don't think year 3, 2016, of Ebron was a young TE slowly improving too? 

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#119 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 21, 2022 - 8:54am


Well that's the whole point of advanced stats, to separate efficiency and volume (lots of targets and counting stats).

Ebron has had two good seasons (maybe 3, if you want to count 2015, where he was +6.5% DVOA), one with Stafford, and one with Andrew Luck, although according to DVOA the Luck season was only average efficiency but high volume (i.e. "spamming").

In the end, neither season probably means all that much, other than to confirm that Eric Ebron is a frustratingly inconsistent and overall disappointing player.

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#132 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 22, 2022 - 12:06pm

Kupp had the most targets. Same with CJ. But there are better spammers (Rodgers and Davante, etc). 

We also have grades. And Ebrons best grade was...with Luck. 

But it also means the Detroit tried, directly, helping Stafford. With 3 top 20 TEs (can't forget Pettigrew). And of course CJ was already seasoned when he got there.

I'm not gonna sit here and act like they're great in large part of Stafford. Kupp and CJ were already WR1s before he got there. They had their best seasons with him because he was 1. not the worst 2. allowed to spam (not necessarily a bad thing despite it's rep), not magically because he was more accurate (one of his weaknesses).

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#140 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 23, 2022 - 8:53am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

This thread has gone pretty far afield of the initial point, which was that Ebron's 2018 season, aside from his TD total (outlier for his career) wasn't that much different than his other seasons.

"We also have grades. And Ebrons best grade was...with Luck"

Not sure how that helps your argument, since the whole point of PFF grades for quarterbacks and pass-catchers tries to separate context and teammate performance (something the DVOA/DYAR falls short of), in order to give full credit to the individual player.  I should also mention that I'm not surprised Ebron did okay with Andrew Luck.  I think healthy Andrew Luck was a superior QB to Stafford, and had more ability to overcome bad surroundings.

"With 3 top 20 TEs (can't forget Pettigrew)."

This is basically a non-sequiter.  Pettigrew was mediocre at best (another guy who excelled at dropping RZ targets that hit him in the hands).  Not sure what the point is other than "Don't draft a TE in the first round" or "Detroit has been bad at drafting."

".Kupp and CJ were already WR1s before he got there"

In Kupp's case, not really true.  Robert Woods was considered WR1 (led the Rams in targets the previous 3 seasons)

"not magically because he was more accurate (one of his weaknesses)."

I don't think anyone is arguing that.  But one of the arguments of why the Rams offense got better is that Stafford is willing to throw more passes downfield and into tight windows than his predecessor was.

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#27 by Raiderfan // Feb 15, 2022 - 4:52pm

“Maybe if the Rams beat the 17-0 Chiefs in next year's Super Bowl, ”

The only way they beat the 17-0 Chiefs is if one of them changes conferences and the Rams meet them in the Divisional round.

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#64 by DraftMan // Feb 16, 2022 - 12:15pm

Or if there's a strike that cancels two weeks in the middle of the season!

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#2 by Sportszilla // Feb 15, 2022 - 12:50pm

The only QB in his age cohort with a clearly superior HOF case is Russell Wilson. Stafford and Ryan both to me have lackluster cases but is there some chance that one or both gets in during the interregnum between Roethlisberger and Wilson? Or is that Eli's spot?

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#3 by Bryan Knowles // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:14pm

It would be exceedingly difficult for me to vote for someone with one (1) Pro Bowl appearance into the Hall of Fame.

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#15 by Pat // Feb 15, 2022 - 2:39pm

To paraphrase Mike Tanier...

[Fred Taylor] is: [..] considered Hall of Fame-worthy himself by many folks who know what they are talking about.

and he's been a semifinalist for three years now. Sigh.

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#50 by LionInAZ // Feb 15, 2022 - 11:35pm

Yeah, but he should gotten a Pro Bowl spot this year, not Kyler Murray.

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#4 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:20pm

What a ring does is rehabilitate his career narrative, which had been the hammer used to knock him down to date. The straight comp to Goff is educational. Now his career numbers similarity to Ryan and Rivers are seen as legitimate, and he now has the titles they did not, despite spending their careers on generally better teams than Stafford.

Narrative matters. Narrative hammer Cousins and elevate Wilson, but all they really indicate is Wilson had better teams and front-offices. 

Warner is an interesting example. Were he prolific on a bad team instead of eking the GSoT to a ring early, he'd be Dave Krieg and not a HOFer.

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#9 by Spanosian Magn… // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:45pm

Yep. I wonder if he'll start to get "make-up" Pro Bowl nods and/or MVP votes in the next few years, now that he's sort of "legitimized" himself as an actual "good" QB and not just a guy racking up garbage-time yards on a bad team.

Also, and related, the top QBs of the present and future are mostly in the AFC now, and there's some chance Rodgers joins them (DEN, PIT, and maybe CLE seem plausible destinations if he really goes this time). So his "competition" for Pro Bowl slots looks to be only Prescott (and Rodgers, possibly) and maybe Wilson and Murray for the next couple of years, meaning he'll have ample opportunity to get a few more nods even if he doesn't play as well as he did in Detroit.

If he finished with, say, 4 Pro Bowl nods, and comfortable positions in the top-10 all-time passing yard and TD charts (which he'll certainly have within 2 years), would that get him in? To me he'd still be borderline at best, but his hardware shelf wouldn't look so conspicuously empty then, and combined with a newfound reputation as a Championship QB who was held back for more than a decade by a terrible franchise, that might do it for a sufficient number of voters.

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#72 by TopherDoll // Feb 16, 2022 - 5:03pm

Now his career numbers similarity to Ryan and Rivers are seen as legitimate

His totals will be around Ryan and Rivers, but he's going to take far more attempts to get there. It is true passing numbers are going up but not all QB's reach high totals the same way and if we adjust for era with PFR's Passing+ Stafford only has 2 seasons with his yards per attempt well above average (120 or higher) while Rivers has 5. Not to mention Rivers has only been below league average for Y/A twice while Stafford has done that 5 times.


Stafford will have the volume but the idea that how they got to that volume doesn't matter is silly.

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#5 by theslothook // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:24pm

To me, this is a hard no and if you are going to admit him, then I can make real arguments for a slew of other candidates. This has always been my biggest gripe with allowing marginal candidates;


Also, the Hall of Fame is meant to reward for what you did, not what you might have done if X number of variables have been different. The theoretical version of what Matthew Stafford would have been if he had gone to the Steelers or Rams is beside the point.

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#11 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 2:05pm

Also, the Hall of Fame is meant to reward for what you did, not what you might have done if X number of variables have been different.

Except we do that. The pro and con with Terrell Davis was purely this.

Pro: His rate stats were amazing. What could he have done had his knee not been exploded?
Con: Any JAG could get 1,000 yards in Denver.

Baseball does this all the time. Park factors, era-adjustment, league-adjustment, defense-adjustment, run support. Pitchers are adjusted for circumstance constantly. And it's needed, because "winz" is also an argument there, like it is for QBs.

In a baseball context, with the Lions, Stafford was an AL pitcher who played in the steroid era in a bandbox stadium for a clownshoes team who couldn't bat or field the ball. (Which basically makes him Johan Santana...)

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#23 by theslothook // Feb 15, 2022 - 3:57pm

I don't think that's what was held against TD. It was mostly, if not all, longevity.

And if it were real, Reggie Wayne probably would not be a hall of fame semifinalist.


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#35 by El Muneco // Feb 15, 2022 - 7:49pm

Technically, park factors aren't strictly looking at what you might have done but the fact that what you actually did to contribute to wins in Colorado is vastly different than what you actually did to contribute to wins in Seattle if you put up the exact same stats in both parks. Era and league adjustment have similar arguments, albeit much weaker.

I'll give you the rest, though.

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#43 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 9:21pm

I was thinking in terms of pitchers.

There was a marked difference playing in a bandbox like Ebbets Field or the Baker Bowl or a launchpad like Coors versus PETCO or original Comerica, where home runs went to die.

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#6 by theTDC // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:34pm

I think it all depends on the next few years with the Rams and McVay. Stafford played extremely well, struggling through some minor injuries during the season, including one to his throwing hand. Next year he should be even better, and with an extra year in McVay’s system, who knows what can happen?

Then again, Robert Woods and OBJ both had season ending injuries that could possibly be career ending injuries. Behind them is average to mediocre receivers for the Rams, so if it’s just the Cooper Kupp show it’s going to be hard to have a statistically excellent season.

However, now that he’s won a Super Bowl, he has a much higher chance of being a pro bowler. It probably shouldn’t be that way, but there’s no way he only deserved a single pro bowl nod while in Detroit. He should be able to pad his career resume stats in that category.

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#8 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:40pm

“but there’s no way he only deserved a single pro bowl nod while in Detroit”

Him not making it in over Eli in 2011 was arguably a snub (More volume, similar efficiency, and his team won more regular season games).  He had Pro Bowl type seasons in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but I can’t argue with the guys who made it in over him.  Was on his way to likely making it in 2019 if he hadn’t gotten hurt.  Making it in 2014 was strange, because that was a one of his worst non-rookie years.  And he definitely should have made it this year over Kyler.  Just one of the many reasons I think Pro Bowl selections is not the measuring stick it once was.

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#26 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 4:36pm

Just one of the many reasons I think Pro Bowl selections is not the measuring stick it once was.

How on earth did Roethlisberger go to the PB in 2015, but not 2018?

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#63 by HitchikersPie // Feb 16, 2022 - 10:38am

Eli definitely deserved that Pro Bowl nod. He had comparable volume to Stafford, only 100 fewer yards on 70 fewer passes. Eli added more EPA (by ~14) and WPA (~0.6), had slightly less DYAR (1,110 to 1,171).

If those stats and the league leading 4QCs/GWDs don't do it for you PFF had him comfortably ahead of Stafford 73.3 grade and Romo 74.6 grade compared to Eli's 81.0



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#7 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 15, 2022 - 1:36pm

I’ve used a lot of keystrokes defending Matthew Stafford for the last 10 years, but it was mostly in response to silly comments like “Stafford is basically Jay Cutler with a sunnier disposition”, or “Stafford is Kirk Cousins without the controversy”, and “He’s holding the Lions back and they should get rid of him”, or “He’s a slightly better Goff”,  or “he’s mediocre”.

On the other hand, “Hall of Famer” is bridge too far…like wayyy too far.  His career so far is like a lesser version of Ken Anderson, with fewer Pro Bowls (all though I think the Pro Bowl selection process has been a joke lately), and without the All-pro selection.  Also without the cool mustache, but having the ring cancels that out somewhat.

I agree with Mike that it’s theoretically possible.  Maybe another year in the system, with his interceptions regressing back to his usual career average, he might have a year or two of All-Pro type production.  That combined with another Super Bowl would make his case stronger, but that will require quite a bit of heavy lifting.

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#20 by NYChem // Feb 15, 2022 - 3:14pm

I think he needs about four more years similar to this one, even without another ring (meaning division titles, deep playoff runs, maybe a close SB loss), and then I'd be surprised if he doesn't make it. If it's just one or two more years there will be way too much chatter about how much of it was him versus mcVay, Donald, Kupp.

But if it's Stafford vs Goff in the NFC championship game next year, all bets are off...

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#21 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 3:37pm

If the Lions are in the NFC Championship Game next year, it's because the end times are upon us and all HoF arguments are moot.

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#24 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 15, 2022 - 4:11pm

He only said Goff.  Theoretically, Goff could get traded to the Bucs.

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#78 by Doug G // Feb 16, 2022 - 9:07pm

But is Stafford a coffee achiever?

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#90 by justanothersteve // Feb 17, 2022 - 2:17pm

That's the current Lions coach 

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#12 by Will Allen // Feb 15, 2022 - 2:07pm

I've been talking about Stafford being wasted in Detroit for more than 5 years. He's been quite good..He's not even close to being a HoFer at this point, and the fact that Eli Manning has a much better chance is just commentary on the shortfalls of the HoF as an institution. Anybody who'd rather have Eli than Stafford from the start of their careers is nuts, no matter how good Eli was in the 2011 season playoffs.

The future? Who the hell knows? That's why they call it the future. I'd best against him racking up the kind of seasons needed to get there, but better bets than that have been lost with some frequency.

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#13 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 2:22pm

What a ring really does is take Stafford from being Archie Manning to being Eli Manning.

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#99 by armchair journ… // Feb 18, 2022 - 7:46pm

Its not often I disagree with you, but as a Giants fan I am generally happy with the Eli era and do not think a Stafford-led effort would have had equivalent results in any revisionist history. Its nuts to suggest otherwise. 

Underrated as Stafford was in his Detroit purgatory, a good chunk of his success was in throwing in the general vicinity of one of the greatest wideouts ever to play, while Eli made stars of Manninghams and Hickses and Salsa dancers. 

I do also recall draft-pick Stafford being predicted to be a major bust in these pages for inaccuracy and poor decision-making.. both of which were on full display over the last two months. Dismiss Eli’s 2011 if you wish, but the Giants did not make that run in spite of him. And I say that as someone who rooted hard for Stafford to make good in LA.

Neither should be in the hall, but I think the pseudo-smart take against Eli is tired and lazy. 

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#111 by Will Allen // Feb 20, 2022 - 12:12pm

You should be happy with the Eli era; it included two championships. It's just crazy to think that Eli in 2007 was a primary factor, or that Eli had more top level performances than Stafford, to counter the fact that Eli had more below average performances. Stafford had top 10 DYAR seasons in Detroit without Calvin Johnson, sometimes on horribly coached (non Caldwell) teams. Eli has deep valleys in his career that Stafford does not, without any higher peaks.

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#14 by Spanosian Magn… // Feb 15, 2022 - 2:35pm

if Stafford retires tomorrow, he is not a Hall of Famer


If all he does is hang around until age 40 compiling stats, he is not a Hall of Famer. 

This I am not so sure about. He has the ring so he will never again be seen as "just a compiler", rightly or not. Next year he will pass John Elway in career passing yards, and the year after he will pass Eli to enter the top 10, and pass Eli and Tarkenton to enter the top 10 in passing TDs (barring injury of course). If he keeps up his career pace through age-40, he'll probably be second all-time in yards (and third or 4th in TDs), especially if they add that 18th game in the next few years. Suddenly he's in the company of Brady, Manning, Brees, and Favre, not Roethlisberger, Rivers, Eli, and Ryan (who looks to be in significant decline, though if he recovers Brady-style he could move up there too... ruining my argument) - and he'll be within striking distance of the all-time records for both, if he could limp out another year or two thereafter.

Take Stafford's current resume and make him top-3 in the major career passing categories, he'll probably get in. Make him #1 and he definitely does.

Incidentally, I think we're all used to seeing those records fall frequently over the last few years (Favre then Manning then Brees then Brady), but we're almost certainly about to enter a fallow period in terms of passing-record-setting. The only active guys besides Stafford who are even within hailing distance are Rodgers and Ryan - Ryan looks just about finished, and Rodgers still needs 30,000 yards and 175 TDs. Neither are getting there.

After them is Wilson, who still needs almost 50,000 more yards and is only one (1) year younger than Stafford. After him, the next QBs with even a vaguely plausible shot are Prescott and Mahomes. Seriously. And they've got 60,000+ yards to go.

If Stafford does set the records, they will likely stand for a long time - enough that he'll get in on their strength, as the committee marinates on them year after year with no looming challengers in sight.

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#18 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 3:06pm

Wilson is way off the needed pace -- 230 ypg, versus 265. At his current rate, he'd need to play something like 200 more games. Stafford, comparatively, needs around 120.

Rodgers and Ryan are basically a game-for-game match. Prescott is slightly behind. Of the guys north of 10,000 career yards, I think only Stafford and Mahomes are ahead of Brady's pace.

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#17 by Will Allen // Feb 15, 2022 - 2:49pm

Effin' Tarkenton; still at 11 in td passes, 45 years later, only 1 year in the era of restricted contact on receivers, about 2/3 of his career with terrible coaching.

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#25 by KnotMe // Feb 15, 2022 - 4:24pm

Hall of very good maybe....but HOF seems like a biiig stretch. If he plays till he's 44 like Brady and maybe has a couple standout seasons(MVP, another ring) he could maybe have a case.  It's not totally impossible, but a player improving that much at that stage of their career would be worthy of the HOF anyway. 

Honestly, this feels like the type of stuff writers bandy around in the offseason bc it's entertaining and harmless. 

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#37 by seesau // Feb 15, 2022 - 8:01pm

Uh...IF he's a starter from now until 44 he'll definitely make the hall of fame with no problem.   He'd have to be pretty decent to keep a starting spot into his late 30's and early to MID 40's and by his retirement in 2034 he'd have the career yardage and TD records by a mile, probably would still have them in 2039 when he got inducted.  It is hard to imagine some sort of esoteric reason a QB who was drafted first overall, played 24 seasons and broke every record wouldn't be in the hall of fame.  Drew Bledsoe would be in the hall of fame if he'd stayed on the Cowboys or Bills as the starter for a decade longer than he did.

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#56 by DisplacedPackerFan // Feb 16, 2022 - 4:37am

I keep seeing people say he'd have all the counting stat records. I will grant yardage, especially with the extra game, that will take him about 8 more years given his yards per game numbers (which was like 10 ypg higher with LAR than his career average so really no major change). But he wouldn't get the TD record unless his TD rate really changes compared to career averages. He's been good enough to be a starting QB his whole career so he could keep starting until he's 44 if he keeps producing at his average levels too, so even regressing from this season doesn't lose him his job.

Given ~27 TD a year going forward based on his past TD/game rate and even given a little bump based on the higher LAR efficiency. So 296 more TD over 11 more seasons + his current 323 TD is 619 which is still 5 short of Brady's 624. If he only goes 8 more years, nabbing the yardage record, he'd likely only be 5th in TD's at ~538 (1 behind Manning) because he wouldn't catch where Rodgers should be in 3 more years, ~557 (which would put them both at 41 same age as Brees when he retired if you prefer that, if Rodgers plays till 43 he'll have the TD record at his average rates).

Assuming that his numbers will be at the same level they were this year because he's out of Detroit isn't a given in any way. Some quick things that point to using only slightly adjust career averages for projection are that he had 1 more game this year and still the only career mark he hit was TD% (and that only by 0.6% over his previous best non injury season) he also tied for most INT with 2012 and tied for most TD with 2011 (but needing 1 more game for both). Another is that just because he's on a better team doesn't mean his counting stats will be better. It's fairly safe to assume his efficiency with better players should be better, but as we saw his volume dropped. 37.7 att per game for DET 35.3 a game for LAR (and the attempts per game was lower than 6 of the 9 full seasons he had with DET). He also has a coach (currently) who likes to run and if the running game gets even slightly more effective it's likely it will chew up even more attempts.

So most of the factors that a better situation help him with are counter balanced by the slight aging decline, the lower volume, etc. Using his career averages to project him forward feels pretty reasonable.

If he continues to put up 41 TD and 5000 yard seasons that of course will help his argument for the HoF, and likely would make most people agree. But expecting him to keep doing that is not reasonable until he proves otherwise.

What 2021 proved was that playing like he did in 2011 on a better team had better results, as expected. He still played like a QB in the top 5-10 range. I don't expect his stats to change that much from his established numbers. Even Brady in full healthy seasons had 11 seasons with less than 30 TD passes and only 9 with 30+. Stafford is at 7 and 3 (with 3 season additional of 10 or fewer starts).

So yeah as of right now he is not a HoF player. With 4-11 years left lots could change (I'm going 41 +/- 3 years). I'm not knocking him. Some people didn't consider Rodgers a lock until after the 2020 season. Though most did give it to him after 2016 (his age 33 season). Rodgers has significantly better rate stats than Stafford though, especially TD (6.3 vs 4.7 and Staffords high was 6.8 this year Rodgers has been over 9 twice) and INT (1.3 vs 2.4). So not being considered Hall worthy by the same age is not a knock, just a point of clarification. 

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#28 by MarkV // Feb 15, 2022 - 5:06pm

I think a better case for considering rings is von Miller.

I suspect most people would say he probably is hof worthy if he retired today.  I am a broncos fan, and I agree.  Interestingly, profootballreference hof tracker basically agrees. 

But here's what's  interesting about von Miller.  I think that he has a real interesting competitor who isn't really close to the hof yet in Chandler Jones.  I think Jones is the better player, and has had a better career.  The difference is von has had two incredibly important playoff runs while Jones hasn't had nearly the post-season impact.  Pfr also suggests Jones is a long way from having a hof candidacy, though he could still make it.

So is that an argument for ringz!?  Maybe.  Playoff football is a higher difficulty than regular season football, and it's also potentially a lot of games.  No one wins the Superbowl, especially not multiple times, without having a bunch of extra games against top competition, so doing well in those games should probably matter.

I think the Miller Jones scenario this year is making me a lot more at peace with some elements of the rings! Argument.

And honestly, that seems to also make sense. I don't think I'd be as big a supporter of ronde barber for the hof if I wasn't so impressed with his playoff performance in 02.  The same is true of a number of players who were borderline HoFers (terrell Davis, ty law, Kurt Warner) in my book but also had amazing post-seasons.  That's not to say I think Eli should get in because of rings, but it does mean I would consider him,Justin tuck, earl Thomas, and others more seriously than if they didn't have post season success.

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#29 by theslothook // Feb 15, 2022 - 5:26pm

Putting aside Von Miller specifically for a moment, I think the postseason should matter for a hall of fame resume, but it should compliment the career, not become the only bullet point for discussion. If a candidate is borderline but has a fine postseason, well those games happened and he should be credited for those performances. If instead he barely puts up much recognition during the regular season but balls out in the playoffs(Edelman), then I don't think that should be enough.

As to Von Miller, I am genuinely surprised you think Chandler Jones is the better player/had the better career. I think Von Miller, at his absolute best, was maybe the best pass rusher I ever saw. His dip and bend ability was just otherwordly. But for whatever reason, I never found Von Miller consistent enough. I watched all the Broncos games between 2012 and 2015. I always thought  Ware was the more complete and consistent down to down player even at his age compared to Miller. Miller just had those moments where he took over a game in insane fashion. Add that up and I'd rather have Miller at his inconsistency than Jones frankly. 

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#30 by JohnxMorgan // Feb 15, 2022 - 7:06pm

All-Pro voting is nearly its equal. Why reference such obviously dubious criteria? Are you implying that Russell Wilson was more deserving of a Pro Bowl than Matthew Stafford in 2021?

The tone of this extra point is inexplicably venomous. It comes off as something personally felt. As if you're invested in a stranger's failure. I laugh at the modern usage of "hate" and "hater," but Mr Tanier you come off as almost angry at Stafford's success.

This contrasts humorously with the veneration of the Hall of Fame selection committee. This is hardly a faultless few.

Stafford was drafted by among the worst and least successful sports franchises ever. His counting stats, his metrics, the number of times he was named an All-Pro or to the Pro Bowl, are all at least partially reflective of the failures of the Lions. Stafford was the first Lions quarterback to make the Pro Bowl since Greg Landry in 1971.

In his first year away from Detroit, Stafford led a passing offense which posted DVOAs of 148.9%, 93.2%, 35.1% and 31.0% in the postseason. He orchestrated the game-winning drive in the Super Bowl. He has led the NFL in game-winning drives in three seasons despite playing for a team fortunate to win any game.

The Hall of Fame has always been partial to great stories. Stafford was undeniably one of the better stories of the 2021 season. By stats alone, Terrell Davis does not deserve a place in the Hall of Fame, but Davis's story is an awesome example of the joyful possibility of the unexpected that defines the NFL. Stafford is the exact same.

I don't feel personally invested, really. He's not likely to make the Hall of Fame, and I accept that. I am not personally invested in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Maybe if the Boomers made any effort to equitably transfer power, my generation would feel invested in these hoary old institutions. But given the stranglehold the older generations have on their positions, we don't care. Gen Z cares even less.

But is there an argument that Stafford could and possibly even should make the Hall of Fame? Damn straight. He played surprisingly well in the worst of circumstances. We are very aware of institutional oppression and the way the privileged gate keep and self-congratulate to ensure fortunate circumstances into perpetuity for them and theirs. The very first chance he had to succeed, Stafford succeeded as well as possible. He wasn't celebrated by the insular little institutions which matter mostly to themselves, but he won it all.

Maybe this is a vendetta for all the Sanchez backers from 2009 who must feel awfully embarrassed right now. I don't know. But making a point of bashing and discrediting a player days after the finest moment of his career, even stooping to the flimsiest of criteria to accomplish the hit job, is petty. Stafford seems like a decent guy. I kinda doubt he cares if he makes the Hall. Way things are going, I doubt much of anyone will care who makes the Hall in 2035. Look how irrelevant the self-appointed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become. But, ball in his hands, down four in the fourth, game on the line, throwing to one viable receiver, Stafford led a drive to win the Super Bowl. That's real. That's neither withheld nor bestowed. And if the Pro Football Hall of Fame renews itself, drops their own Goffs propped up by their positions rather than their merit, I'm sure the next generation of voters will remember it.

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#31 by mehllageman56 // Feb 15, 2022 - 7:15pm

Don't understand what Mark Sanchez has to do with this.  Did anyone think Sanchez should have been drafted before Stafford back then? 

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#67 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 16, 2022 - 2:23pm

I don't remember much about the pre-draft scouting reports, but coming into the 2011 season, there was a lot of talk about Stafford being a bust (although that was mostly injury-related), and debate about whether Sanchez and Josh Freeman were the best QBs from the 2009 draft (Freeman was coming off a 10 win season, and Sanchez was coming off back to back AFC Championship game appearances....QB WINZ and all that).

So it's unsurprising to me now that the WINZ and RINGZ crowd are pushing the Stafford to HOF narrative now (way before the guy's even retired, no less)

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#100 by armchair journ… // Feb 18, 2022 - 7:58pm

FO’s Lewin Career Forecast had Stafford as a bust. 

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#33 by theslothook // Feb 15, 2022 - 7:40pm

As I wrote above, the Hall of Fame isn't nor should it be about a theoretical career path. It's about what actually happened on the field.

Also dovetailing with that, in his first season away from the Lions, he was neither a probowler nor an all pro. It was certainly not some MVP worthy season either as this was overall a down year for QBs. Like most years, he was pretty good but not as good as guys above him. Again, right in line with his career in Detroit.

There is a universe where Matt Stafford continues to play well for the next 5 years and becomes a Hall of famer. But that's not the discussion at hand.


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#46 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 15, 2022 - 9:25pm

Narrative is important to the HOF. Stafford winning a SB not only changes his narrative going forward, it changes his narrative retrospectively.

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#51 by LionInAZ // Feb 15, 2022 - 11:47pm

Stafford was statistically superior to Kyler Murray in almost every category, yet Murray got the Pro Bowl nod. Pro Bowl voting is a sham, especially because the voting ends way to early in the season. Sure didn't account for Murray's season-end fadeout.

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#65 by Raiderfan // Feb 16, 2022 - 12:43pm

“Stafford was statistically superior to Kyler Murray in almost every category, yet Murray got the Pro Bowl nod”

Replace Stafford with Brady, and you are describing last year.

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#71 by AFCNFCBowl // Feb 16, 2022 - 4:57pm

The voters like mobile quarterbacks because they are more "fun" to watch. Lamar Jackson was a below-average passer and still got into the Pro Bowl!

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#32 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 15, 2022 - 7:22pm

Right now it's not even close. 

He's not even a borderline candidate like Ben, Eli, Ryan or Rivers. 

1x pro bowl (and yeah it's a decent proxy for top 3 in a conference), no all pros straight up (has he even ever gotten ONE vote?), no MVP votes, not the SB MVP (or runner up that so many argued Donald for), no OPOTY votes, no OROTY votes, couldn't even beat out Sanchez on the all rookie team. 

And no, "Detroit suckzzzz" isn't a reason when he graded essentially the same in LA.

Don't water the HOF down anymore than it already is. We don't need Trent Dilfer 2.0 in because... total passing yardz. 

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#34 by greybeard // Feb 15, 2022 - 7:42pm

Unless he does a lot more in the next few years, he is a great candidate for hall of "good, might even be very good".

I would still take 5 QBs this year over Stafford for production: Rodgers, Brady, Allen, Mahomes, Herbert, and then a bunch of others for talent: Jackson, Prescott, Burrow, possibly Murray. and there are another bunch close to him in talent and/or or production: Ryan, Wilson, Cousins, and even possibly Carr, Grappolo and maybe Tannehill,.

When in your most successful year, you are at best 6th best QB and potentially not even top 10, it is hard to be hall of fame worthy. 

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#39 by seesau // Feb 15, 2022 - 8:20pm

You're being pretty scattershot if you think everyone you just listed actually demonstrated more talent or had a better year somehow than Matt Stafford.   The idea that Garappolo, Carrr, or Tannehill had better or even arguably equal seasons is farcical.  A lot of the other players you listed are exciting because they're "new", but Stafford was a hot new QB a decade ago too, as was Robert Griffin, Colin Kaepernick, etc.

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#40 by greybeard // Feb 15, 2022 - 8:31pm

What is you opinion on his place relative to other QBs this year then?

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#44 by seesau // Feb 15, 2022 - 9:21pm

I don't disagree with your top five, I don't think there's any reasonable way to get him to 11th.   Obviously I wouldn't put the three I listed ahead of him.  Then some of them it depends on how you're ranking them.  If you're talking about who do you want going forward Joe Burrow is an easy case to make, I do not see how he was better this year.   Likewise in the totality of his career you could bump up Matt Ryan, but not based on this year or going forward so I don't see any way to somehow rate both ahead of him, you'd have to switch what criteria you're looking at, and in my opinion he was better than either.   Like going into the Superbowl I thought Stafford was an advantage vs. Burrow and I think it played out that way.

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#48 by seesau // Feb 15, 2022 - 9:50pm

I didn't do a subjective seesau ranking of the QB's going into the playoffs, so trying to do it now I can't unsee the results.  They traded two first round picks to get him, it worked, and they beat a really tough slate of teams to win their division and then win the Superbowl in no small part because of his contribution.  Objectively his raw numbers are impressive as well no matter if you look at volume, efficiency, traditional or advanced statistics.  I would say 6th or 7th.  So, not necessarily Hall of Fame material for sure but easily top 10 of 2022.

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#41 by theslothook // Feb 15, 2022 - 8:37pm

Derrek Carr has mostly outranked Stafford in DVOA, including this year, and he has done that on the freaken Raiders. Ryan Tannehill experienced an even greater career rennaisance with the Titans before this year. 

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#45 by seesau // Feb 15, 2022 - 9:23pm

Derrek Carr and Ryan Tannehill are behind Stafford in DVOA this year, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

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#52 by theTDC // Feb 15, 2022 - 11:59pm

“Derrek Carr has mostly outranked Stafford in DVOA, including this year,

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#68 by ChrisS // Feb 16, 2022 - 2:48pm

As a Lions fan I am sure the the Lions are more dysfunctional than "the freakin Raiders". But the Tannehill point is well taken and this indeed could be Stafford's high-point, just like Tannehill regressed this year.

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#69 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 16, 2022 - 3:03pm

I hadn't realized it, but Tannehill did the Cousins thing, where he went from a bad team to a good team and threw less, but more efficiently.

There are a few guys who went from good teams to other good teams and threw more (Brees, Manning, Brady).

I can't think of many guys who went from a bad team to a good one and threw as much or more than before. Maybe/sorta Alex Smith? Something to watch for with Watson, anyway.

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#70 by Will Allen // Feb 16, 2022 - 4:29pm

The thing about Stafford is that, other than his rookie year and season ending injury, he's never had a bad season. The peaks have not been Himalayas, but there have been no valleys, and the peaks were Colorado Rockies. On a poorly managed team, mostly bad coaches, that's a very significant achievement.

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#73 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 16, 2022 - 5:04pm

"there have been no valleys"

This is a very good point.  His two worst non-rookie seasons were -0.7% and -0.8% DVOA.

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#36 by theslothook // Feb 15, 2022 - 7:50pm

I'm seeing Eli Manning's name a bunch here and it occurs to me now why there's a real downside of Eli Manning being admitted to the Hall of Fame.

I think Stafford is better than Eli and I think Eli will get into the Hall of Fame. Thus by the NFL transitive property, Stafford is a Hall of famer.

But I honestly find this argument fairly weak because everyone knows why Eli Manning is going into the Hall of Fame and it's far enough divorced from what he was as a quarterback. But at least what Eli did was sufficiently rare that the next version of Eli Manning is going to be pretty hard to find. But there are plenty of next versions of Stafford out there such that we will become stuck in an endless debate over questionable candidates. 


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#38 by seesau // Feb 15, 2022 - 8:07pm

That is a self correcting problem since they only put 5 in a year.   If one guy who has an "unremarkable" career that a lot of people replicate it still won't be possible for all of them to get in because the rate at which they're inducted is still 5 a year.

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#42 by theslothook // Feb 15, 2022 - 8:38pm

That's in theory how it would work but it doesn't work that way in practice. There will come some fallow periods where marginal candidates who have hung around as semifinalists for years will leak through. Worse, they will also bump ahead of other deserving candidates because they have waited so long in the cue. That's how both Demarcus Ware and Jared Allen, two obvious hall of famers, are still waiting for their jackets. 

If every 5 years like clockwork another Stafford or Eli was produced, that would be one thing.  

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#47 by seesau // Feb 15, 2022 - 9:44pm

Who were all these underserving players who got inducted this year?

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#54 by jgov // Feb 16, 2022 - 1:10am

What's the point of writing this take-down of a very good player days after he wins the Super Bowl? Stafford's 33, which is pretty young by QB standards these days. He has plenty of time to make or not make his case for the HOF. The fact that it's even coming up now and you feel the need to write a piece against it must mean you think he at least has some argument in his favor. 

One thing that I dislike about Hall of Fame debates is that it turns people against great players just because they don't quite live up to the standards of legends. Stafford's a tough, highly respected veteran player in the league and just took a team to a championship; why write what amounts to a hit piece on him? 

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#57 by BJR // Feb 16, 2022 - 5:39am

It’s just standard trivial off-season content now there is no actual football to discuss. But as you mention, what makes this discussion particularly futile is Stafford’s relative youth. A further 3/4/5 productive years in LA and it might be an interesting debate, but for now it really isn’t. 

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#58 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 16, 2022 - 7:08am

It's been a thing for like a month now.

We don't have to rewrite his career to give him props. Is a week after acceptable when people are no longer taking about it? 

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#59 by max // Feb 16, 2022 - 8:52am

How much of the narrative is due to the fact that he spent too many years in football hell?

Do we really know if Brady would have been a HOFer if he was dratted by Detroit? They might have ruined his career before it started. We just don't know, but I think its very possible.

IMO, the final analysis on Stafford has yet to be done. He's in a good place now, he's got a year in McVay's system under his belt, so as long as McVay returns its very possible that he excels over the next 4-5 years. So yeah, he's not a HOF now, but I think its quite possible that he ends up there when all is said and done.


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#61 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 16, 2022 - 9:05am

They did. Both retired because they got tired of the Lions not caring about losing.

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#81 by MilkmanDanimal // Feb 17, 2022 - 11:20am

Meh.  The idea that the Lions were a terrible franchise when Barry was around is silly; they made the playoffs half the seasons he was there, and you're talking about a team that had Herman Moore, who was first-team All-Pro three consecutive years.  The Lions were a good football team in the 90s, and, yes, Barry was a huge part of that, but he didn't retire because he got sick of losing.  He retired when he was 30, and his yards per carry had dropped from that insanely 6.1 ypc his second-to-last year to a more pedestrian 4.3 his last, and I think he saw the proverbial writing on the wall.  He wasn't going to want to be or even be able to be like Emmitt and just slam into the line for 3.5 yards to pad stats, because Barry's entire game was based on athleticism.

Barry retired because he was getting old.  Now, Calvin retired because of losing because those teams sucked, but the 90s Lions teams weren't bad teams at all.

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#83 by Will Allen // Feb 17, 2022 - 11:56am

The old NFC Central in the 1990s was a very tough division, especially after the Bucs hired Dungy.

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#84 by MilkmanDanimal // Feb 17, 2022 - 12:23pm

Yep.  I was curious about the whole "Barry played on bad teams" thing so spent some time poking around PFR and such looking at it, and the Lions were a really solid team, and they averaged right around 8-8 during his time there.  Made the playoffs five out of the ten seasons he was in the league, won the division twice, and both Chicago and Tampa were clearly worse teams just in that division.  Had Herman Moore who is absolutely one of those "had he kept it going longer, very potential HOF guy" kind of peak, and had a couple good offensive linemen.  Those Lions teams were really competitive, but they just had the unfortunate luck of being around the same time as those Cowboys dynasties, the rise of Brett Favre and the Packers, really good 49ers teams, and it seemed like every year they just couldn't quite get over the top.  That's not a BAD team, and the whole idea that Barry toiled on awful teams is just everybody thinking about the garbage fire the Lions became after he retired and projecting it onto those really solid 90s Lions squads.

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#88 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 17, 2022 - 1:27pm

That narrative seems to be pushed by Sanders' proponents trying to favorably compare him to Emmitt Smith.  "Emmitt Smith played on a Superteam!  Barry had to play with a bunch of tomato cans!  Barry is better!".  

Yes, the 90's Cowboys had a much better roster, but it's not like the 90's Lions were like the Matt Millen Lions.  As you already mentioned, he had a pretty good offensive line (not Cowboys good, but still pretty good).  Kevin Glover and Lomas Brown had 10 Pro Bowl selections between them (back when that meant something).

One thing that Sanders mentions in his reasons for retiring is that the front office seemed uninterested in trying to re-sign their own good free agents, many of whom went on to do pretty well on their new teams.

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#92 by Will Allen // Feb 17, 2022 - 2:34pm

Vikings went 97-62 with Dennis Green, and made the  playoffs 8 out of 10 years  he coached them. With the Favre-led Packers, and Dungy coaching the Bucs from 1996 on, going 8-8 in the NFC Central required some competence.

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#86 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 17, 2022 - 12:57pm

You clearly don't follow the Lions and are not conversant with what Sanders has said about his retirement.

Starting in about 1994, he came to realize the Lions didn't care about winning, but were focusing on using him to sell out the Silverdome and go about 10-6 and lose early in the playoffs. (Basically, they wanted to be the Beane A's) Sanders got tired of watching his more valuable teammates leave because the Lions wouldn't resign them when they became FAs. He was getting older, and wasn't willing to become Earl Campbell on the behalf of a team that didn't care about winning. Because Sanders didn't care about the rushing record, he just retired. Had the Lions given a shit about winning, he would have held on.

Those weren't 10-6 teams without him. Without him, they were a bad team that lucked into a 8-8 finish and made the last playoff spot. They wouldn't go back until Stafford's prime. With Barry, they made the playoffs 5 times in 10 years, with the best being a 2-seed. In the last 55 years without him, they've made the playoffs 7 times. 1983 was the only year without Sanders they made the playoffs as not the lowest seed.

The story of the Lions franchise under the Fords is basically Sanders Island surrounded by a sea of failure.

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#89 by MilkmanDanimal // Feb 17, 2022 - 2:16pm

Am familiar, really enjoyed watching those 90s teams because I was a huge Herman Moore fan.  The guy was unstoppable for a few years, and when you're playing at the same time as Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Michael Irvin, and Isaac Bruce and are still hitting first-team All-Pro, that's something.  I know what Sanders said, I just don't buy it.  Yeah, Scott Mitchell gets looked at this huge flop as a free agent signing, but that was a very aggressive move to improve the QB position, and they paid a lot for him.  That's not puttering along, that's trying to win.  Sure, their good offensive linemen were let go, but it's not like letting mid-30s linemen go to a new team is unheard of.  The big problem is they drafted really badly and the team fell apart gradually, but they remained very competitive.

For a team that didn't want to win, the team sure won pretty consistently.  You're treating the Fords like they were another Hugh Culverhouse.  They were fine at the time, and it just took a few years post-Barry to really become so awful.  How did Barry realize that in 1994 when that was the year they threw a giant bucket of money at Scott Mitchell?  Seriously, this story is goofy, and doesn't match the history of the team at the time.

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#93 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 17, 2022 - 2:52pm

He want to use the dump truck full of money they delivered to Scott Mitchell (and which he subsequently used to move about the pocket) to build the rest of the roster.

It was basically the first straw, not the last one.

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#95 by MilkmanDanimal // Feb 17, 2022 - 3:10pm

Well, it's a football site, so I guess moving the goalposts is a thing?  A post ago and it was "they weren't trying" and now it's "THEY TRIED WRONG."

HAWT TAKE; the Scott Mitchell contract was not a bad contract.  Giving starter money to a backup QB who has shown a lot of promise works sometimes, and Scott Mitchell could have easily become pre-meme Matt Schaub, Jimmy G, or, what the heck, let's swing for the fences, Brett @#$!! Farve.  You take a chance sometimes, and the fact Mitchell didn't turn out doesn't mean it's a bad contract; it's a bad result.  That's worth it, and that's just ignoring the fact the 1995 Lions had a darn good offense.  Top 10 in all of FO's metrics, and, if you want standard stats, the best offense in the league.

The Lions were trying.  They were just failing.  The fact the team spent a bucketload of money on the most important position and it didn't work out doesn't mean they should have kept rolling with Rodney Peete and magically lucked into signing some other good players.  Signing Mitchell was seen as a smart move at the time because it was.  Nobody in Detroit thought that was a bad signing in 1995 when he threw 32 TDs and only 12 INTs.

Just don't get why Barry gets the free pass.  Nobody says Eric Dickerson retired because he got tired of losing even though they were both similarly electric RBs who made the playoffs about half the time and retired without a ring.

Points: 0

#62 by JS // Feb 16, 2022 - 10:13am

It's the wrong question, and asking the wrong question is how unqualified guys get in. The question is, who is/are the best QB/QBs NOT in the HoF? Then figure that out. It's only by looking at Stafford in comparison to other QBs on the outside - or on the inside - that one can make a reasonable assessment of how good and qualified he is. Asking the right question also has the salutary benefit of removing motivated thinking from at least the framing part of the process.

In a vacuum, a bunch of stats are meaningless. They have to be compared against the standard of existing HoFers, and compared against others waiting just outside. Otherwise, well, there are a ton of people who should be in the Hall of Very Good, and deciding who gets into the actual HoF can come down to who has the most proselytizers. This happens in baseball, which has a much more exclusionary HoF, but still lets guys like Phil Rizutto in because the NYC media pushed him for a while. Nobody asked who was the best infielder not yet in, or the best SS; they just stared down the Rooster for a long time until enough people said ok, sure, fine. 

Are you trying to have a hot-take argument, ESPN-style, or are you trying to answer a reasonable question reasonably?

Points: 0

#79 by seesau // Feb 17, 2022 - 3:09am

There is no way to look at any of the factors you're talking about until Stafford is eligible since we do not know what his numbers will be, who the best QB's not in the hall of fame will be at that time or what their numbers will be.  So the "ESPN-style hot take" is the only possible discussion if  reasonable answer involves comparing him to the other eligible but not in players.

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#82 by Pat // Feb 17, 2022 - 11:54am

It's only by looking at Stafford in comparison to other QBs on the outside - or on the inside - that one can make a reasonable assessment of how good and qualified he is.

Because of the elongation of QB careers, this standard naturally means that either the number of Hall QBs has to go down over time, or the standards do. It's just math. Lengthen QB careers and the number of actual people who are "top 3 QBs in the NFL" for most of their career go down.

And the number of Hall QBs ain't droppin'.

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#75 by KnotMe // Feb 16, 2022 - 6:50pm

The interesting case for Stafford will be if he continues his current level for a decent amount of time (age 40+) and racks up lots of counting stats.Is being good but not great for long enough good enough with a ring vs no right?

If he's high on career leaderboards and has a ring I can see him getting in, while if he just has high counting stats and no ringz....probably not.   Stafford is an interesting guy to talk about bc he is right on the borderline. Big Ben may be a guy who sets the line here. 

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#76 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 16, 2022 - 7:45pm

But Jim Marshall's got the most games played, 282 (277 started), for any front 7 player and he's not in. Probably up there for most tackles if they were tracked back then

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#80 by Jetspete // Feb 17, 2022 - 7:46am

The best comp to Staffords career, since they’re a year apart and each had a HoF receiver, is Ryan. Ryan will be a first ballot hall of famer when he finishes top 5 in yards and 6 in tds, and would be in at some point if he just retired tomorrow. Stafford is a lesser version of Ryan, so I think if he retired today he wouldn’t be in. But a few more decent years and he will certainly get in. 

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#85 by MilkmanDanimal // Feb 17, 2022 - 12:31pm

That's nice and optimistic and all, but I don't think, barring a late-career resurgence, that Matt Ryan has the vaguest chance of getting into Canton without buying a ticket.  Cumulative stats don't mean that much, particularly in a time when passing numbers go higher and higher every year, not to mention the addition of a 17th game.  Where he finishes when he retires isn't going to be where he's at when it's time to start looking at him, and his HOF resume is pretty much "utterly phenomenal in 2016, typically probably the 5th/6th best QB in the league other years at best."  I'm guessing people will look at him, and then will look at Peyton, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers, then Roethlesberger, and then very possibly Eli, and Ryan winds up lumped in with Rivers and who knows who else.  I don't think the 6th or maybe 7th best QB of his era is exactly any ballot, let alone first ballot, because counting stats just don't mean that much.

Kind of feel like Matt Ryan is basically Tony Romo with one exceptionally great year, and a longer career.  That doesn't get you into Canton.

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#87 by Eddo // Feb 17, 2022 - 1:05pm

Agreed.  Vinny Testaverde was 6th in career passing yards when he retired, and was never even a fringe HOF candidate.

Matt Ryan is a better QB than Testaverde, of course, but it shows that HOF voters don't weigh totals all that much.


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#94 by Jetspete // Feb 17, 2022 - 2:58pm

Roethlisberger never even sniffed an mvp. Why is his work going to be judged better than Ryan’s, who again will have more tds and yards in less time and with potentially a higher rating and comp %?  

i get the concept that Super Bowls change legacies, so if that’s the case why should stafford be judged differently than Ben if he gets 2 late where as bens were early? Especially when you consider Ben had little to do with the first one. 

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#96 by MilkmanDanimal // Feb 17, 2022 - 3:28pm

Because it's the Hall of Fame, not Hall of Accumulated Stats.  Sure, QB WINZ is a dumb concept, but Roethlisberger is going to get credit for always playing on a consistently winning team, and going 13-10 in the playoffs means even more.  Again, Ryan had one great year, and he's Tony Romo.  Seriously.



Also, and I don't exactly have documentation on this one, I genuinely believe part of your candidacy is "Does this player have The Moment"?  I'm sure Ben has a number, but, well, that throw to Santonio Holmes to beat the Cardinals?  That's one, right there.  Matt Ryan has one as well.  It's getting sacked and being taken out of FG range in the middle of the singly-greatest collapse in the history of professional sports.  It wasn't his fault; Ryan was phenomenal in 2016, including the playoffs, but Matt Ryan's legacy will forever be 28-3 unless something happens.  And, yes, this does mean I think Eli Manning gets into the HOF even though from a statistical perspective he doesn't have the vaguest argument.  Those throws to Tyree and Manningham are two absolute "The Moments", and I think that's going to basically Lynn Swann him into the HOF.

And, yeah, maybe Matt Stafford turns it around.  Maybe Jameis Winston comes back from ACL surgery and becomes the reincarnation of Peyton Manning.  What ifs are meaningless, and, right now, Stafford isn't vaguely close.  Sure, he wins the next four Super Bowls with consecutive MVP seasons that's something, but right now he's just a guy with a lot of stats who got traded to a super team that won a number of close playoff games and got a ring.

Points: 0

#97 by Jetspete // Feb 17, 2022 - 10:12pm

Stafford has nothing to turn around.  he's going to finish with 60,000 yards and 360 or so tds.  that, with a ring, is going to give his supporters a legitimate case.

Is it your contention that Ryan is a more durable version of Romo with the addition of an MVP year? the stats dont back it up, but even if true had Romo been durable, played as long as Ryan AND had an MVP caliber season he most certainly would be going to canton.  Matt Ryan may not have had a "moment," but he took over a franchise in the midst of one of the worst scandals in league history and promptly had five winning seasons.  He later won an MVP.  He's getting to Canton and likely on the first ballot.  

Points: 0

#98 by BJR // Feb 18, 2022 - 11:26am

In defense of Roethlisberger, by the mid 2010s he was a highly productive, consistent QB, with a #1 finish in DYAR in 2014, and 3 further top 5 finishes in the following 4 seasons. Between 2009-2019 he was never out of the top 10. And whilst Pittsburgh is undoubtedly one of the best consistent winning spots in the NFL, it certainly isn’t the home of historic passing game excellence.

His case doesn’t revolve around RINGZ! and ‘moments’ the way certain others’ do. If anything the early Super Bowl wins he had on those defense led teams disguises his later excellent production (when his team were playoff underachievers).


Points: 0

#91 by justanothersteve // Feb 17, 2022 - 2:28pm

As it stands now, no. But it's not like he'd be the first unworthy accumulator. They already let Art Monk in. 

Points: 0

#101 by Dan // Feb 19, 2022 - 3:58pm

A pretty crude metric I sometimes use for evaluating QBs' HOF cases is Pro Bowls + 1st Tm All-Pros + Super Bowl Appearances + Super Bowl Wins. So you can get up to 4 points in a season, like Kurt Warner did in 1999.

The Hall of Fame cutoff has been about 8 points.

There are some edge cases in counting - whether to count Pro Bowl alternates or just original selections, whether to only count AP All-Pros or other orgs - but they don't make much difference for Stafford.

Stafford has 2-3 points: 0-1 for his Pro Bowl as an alternate (2014 season), and 2 for his Super Bowl appearance & win (2021 season).

Eli Manning has 6-8 points, 2-4 for his four Pro Bowls (2 as an original selection, 2 as an alternate) and 4 for his two Super Bowl wins.

Matt Ryan has 5-6 points, 3-4 for his 4 Pro Bowls (3 original, 1 alternate), 1 for his All-Pro, 1 for his Super Bowl loss.

Ben Roethlisberger has 11 points, 6 for Pro Bowls (all original), 5 for Super Bowls (3 appearances & 2 wins).

Russell Wilson has 9-12 points, 6-9 for Pro Bowls (6 original, 3 alternate), 3 for Super Bowls (2 appearances & 1 win).

Patrick Mahomes already has 8 points, 4 for 4 Pro Bowls (all original), 1 for an All-Pro (also one other year with some non-AP All-Pro awards), 3 for Super Bowls (2 appearances & 1 win).

Points: 0

#102 by Bob Smith // Feb 19, 2022 - 5:32pm

Dan-------That is very interesting. The only thing is---multiple guys can qualify for a point in every category except the Super Bowl winner. That makes winning the Super Bowl even more special in your system. 

Shouldn't you maybe make winning the Super Bowl be worth more than just 1 point ? Many QB's have been named to Pro Bowls and named All-Pro but then could not play good enough to help their team win the S.B.--or even get to it.

So maybe getting to the S.B. should be ?? extra points and then winning the S.B. should be even more extra points because of the challenges that have to be overcome in order to succeed.

Points: 0

#103 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 19, 2022 - 11:06pm

No, winning a team game in a single elimination tournament should not count as more than individual awards. 

Points: 0

#105 by Bob Smith // Feb 19, 2022 - 11:43pm

Football is the ultimate team game and it is 1 team game that relies on 1 positional player (the quarterback) for most of that team's success a majority of the time.

A QB needs his teammates in order to win a Pro Bowl  selection or an All-Pro selection just as much as he needs them in order to win a S.B. But he( the QB) is still the biggest factor a majority of the time.

A QB cannot play good enough to be named to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro without help from his teammates, nor could he possibly play good enough to win a S.B. without his teammates, we all understand that.

Absolutely he should get extra credit for "Reaching the Pinnacle of His Profession"-playing good enough to help his team win the S.B.

Points: 0

#107 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 20, 2022 - 9:47am

Same dude that thinks Flacco is better than Marino.

Your obsession with playoff winz is weird. Who's better Goff or Lamar?

Points: 0

#109 by Bob Smith // Feb 20, 2022 - 10:19am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Never said that. I said I would take Flacco over Marino in the playoffs and especially if I had a S.B. game coming up-based on how each guy played in those situations.

Nothing is tougher to win than a single elimination playoff. The Rams had to beat 4 playoff caliber teams in a row. No team this year did that in the Reg. Season-not one.

I'll say this again-absolutely a QB should get extra credit for achieving his main goal for playing in the NFL--playing good enough to help his team win a S.B.

Points: 0

#110 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 20, 2022 - 11:36am

In reply to by Bob Smith

This is why no one can take you seriously. That's just flat a out bad opinion. Literally no one here would agree with you. Taking Flacco based on 7% of their career, geez.

Points: 0

#112 by Bob Smith // Feb 20, 2022 - 1:00pm

Quarterback A in the playoffs had 32/24 and a rating of 77.1.     He had a Record of  8-10.   He was 1-3 in Championship Games but lost 2 Conf. Champ. games at home.  He never won more than 2 playoff games in a playoff year and he only did that once.

His biggest accomplishment was winning 1 Conference Championship (at home).

Quarterback B in the playoffs had 25/10 and a Rating of 88.6.   He had a Record of 10-5.   He was 2-1 in Championship Games  and won 1 Conf. Champ. on the road.  He won 2 playoff games in a playoff year 1 time and then won 4 playoff games another time.

His biggest accomplishment was winning 1 Conf. Championship (on the road) and winning 1 Super Bowl. But his biggest accomplishment of all was playing good enough in that S.B. game to be named MVP. 

Yes, I will  gladly take Quarterback B in the playoffs and we both know who that is and it sure isn't Marino.

Points: 0

#113 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 20, 2022 - 1:44pm

You stay comparing completely different eras based on SEVEN PERCENT OF THEIR CAREER. It's unbelievable that a human being continues with such an asinine take...goodness.

Points: 0

#114 by Bob Smith // Feb 20, 2022 - 2:12pm

You sound like a Marino fan so I fully understand why you do not like these comparisons. It really does make Marino's playoff resume seem bad. WELL, there is a reason for that---IT IS BAD !!! 

And P-F-R illustrated just how bad it was when they posted that study that determined that Marino ended his career with a playoff VALUE to his team of NEGATIVE 156. That sums it up real well. He doesn't even Rank in the Top 100 for VALUE given to his team in the playoffs.

Points: 0

#115 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 20, 2022 - 2:28pm

In reply to by Bob Smith

But you're just dumb. All you do is keep mentioning this non existent article from a website you annoyingly abbreviate like that.

7 percent, get that through your head. Only you wouldn't understand context and go on and on on the same stupid points you don't even know how to era adjust. 

Points: 0

#116 by Bob Smith // Feb 20, 2022 - 2:47pm

OK---you caught me. I made up P-F-R to try and trick you into thinking there really was such a site as Pro-Football-Reference, but you caught me. Of course that site DOES NOT exist. You are so right. I should never have made that up. I will not do that again.

However, I hope you know I am now putting you on and of course P-F-R exists, and YES, Chase Stuart did that STUDY and it ran from '67 thru '06, until Chase left that site and went elsewhere. Nobody has continued it as of yet but it was very insightful.

Points: 0

#130 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 22, 2022 - 11:49am

In reply to by Bob Smith

I said the ARTICLE (which you CONTINUE to not link to, as if the hint couldn't bigger). Not the website. I know what PFR is. You just elongate for some dumb reason. 

Points: 0

#133 by Bob Smith // Feb 22, 2022 - 12:10pm

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

This site already investigated that article (STUDY) and we talked about it a month or so ago. They looked it up and saw that it was for real.

Here are some VALUES for other QB's: Favre 302, Warner 422, Staubach 461, Aikman 527, Young 580, Elway 767, Bradshaw 903, and Montana 1,292. Again, Marino's VALUE was NEGATIVE 156.

This study certainly passes the "common sense test". Look at the guys at the top-Montana, 8 Championships Total (4 Conf. and 4 S.B.'s), Bradshaw, the same, Elway 7 Total Championships (5 Conf. and 2 S.B.'s, etc., etc.

Again, this Study went from '67 thru '06 so no total Values for Unitas, Starr, Brady, Brees, P.Manning, Rodgers, etc., etc.

The study gave Marino a Negative Value in 10 of his playoff games, and a Value in the single digits in 2 others. That represents 12 (two /thirds) of his 18 po games. The worst part-Dan had a Negative Value in each of his 3 Championship Game Losses.

Points: 0

#134 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 22, 2022 - 4:11pm

In reply to by Bob Smith

Don't even know what a link is but you continue to blather on about Marino suddenly turning into a different QB because it's a certain part of the year.


Points: 0

#135 by Bob Smith // Feb 22, 2022 - 5:26pm

The link was taken down over 10 years ago. I took notes back in '07 and still have them which is what I posted. I think it might have been Aaron Schatz that got to the old site but I have no idea how he did it. Possibly thru Scott Kacsmar,

Scott was at P-F-R back then along with the guy that did the study-Chase Stuart.

Like I said before, the study was stopped in '06 after Chase left P-F-R.

By the way, I love your personal attacks. Keep them coming. I was told in debate class in college that when someone feels they are losing a debate and have nothing further to argue to support their side, they will usually turn to personal attacks.

That is exactly what you are resorting to.

Points: 0

#136 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 22, 2022 - 8:16pm

It's the internet. Find it. How lame do you have to be to take notes. I'll keep them up because for some dumb reason you think Marino is a completely different person because the calendar turns another page. But hey, go ahead and explain that away (or ignore it like you have been). You're literally the only dude here that needs context explained to.

Points: 0

#137 by Bob Smith // Feb 22, 2022 - 8:26pm

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…


Points: 0

#138 by Bob Smith // Feb 22, 2022 - 8:36pm

In reply to by Bob Smith

Now, please post some facts and stats to support your guy, Marino. Tell me why you think Marino was more successful in the playoffs than Flacco was using stats and facts.

Points: 0

#139 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 22, 2022 - 10:09pm

In reply to by Bob Smith

Still don't know how to link and apparently don't know how to edit. 

You're too dumb to have discussion any further. You're basing everything on a small sample size (I wonder if anyones told you that before) in a single elimination tournament with completely different teams in completely different eras. Repeating myself again.

Wonder why Flacco can't stick with the Broncos or Eagles or Jets despite all the playoff success. I wonder if the Ravens had a great defense. I wonder if their ST was anything to write home about. I wonder if his HC is still around the league now. 


Points: 0

#120 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 21, 2022 - 8:56am

Dude, I think this guy's take is nuts, too, but the ad hominem attack is uncalled for.

Points: 0

#121 by Bob Smith // Feb 21, 2022 - 9:51am

Joey-----That is interesting. Who would you take in the playoffs based on how each guy played in the playoffs and why would you take that guy over the other?? I posted the stats and facts for you already. 

It sounds like you might prefer the less successful guy.

Points: 0

#123 by Will Allen // Feb 21, 2022 - 11:24am

It's really dumb to select a tiny subsample, from a much larger sample, when evaluating performance. I'll comment no further, because this debate is so tedious.

Points: 0

#124 by Bob Smith // Feb 21, 2022 - 11:44am

It is comparing the entire Career of work in the playoffs for Marino against a not yet retired Flacco, but in spite of that, Flacco is the more successful QB in the playoffs. Those are the FACTS.

You could also then compare Reg. Season Resumes but according to Marino, playoff success is more important. Here are his own words on the subject:  "I'd trade every Record we broke to be Super Bowl Champs".  That is how a Reg. Season Record breaking QB looks at it and that is good enough for me.

Dan is telling us 'you can have my Reg. Season Records if you can give me a S.B. Ring'. Well, Flacco played good enough to help his team do just that-win a S.B. and he played good enough to be named the MVP. That was Marino's ultimate goal apparently.

Yes, I am repeating this for emphasis.

If you are calling Marino a liar, then that is on you.

Points: 0

#128 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 22, 2022 - 10:40am

Tried to explain countless times. 

Sometimes peoples takes are just dumb. *kanye shrug* the dudes dug in on the dumbest opinion for no reason other than he can't think of context to the numbers. Forget this tone policing.

Points: 0

#129 by Bob Smith // Feb 22, 2022 - 10:57am

You post your context to the numbers and I promise I will read it.

Points: 0

#131 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 22, 2022 - 11:52am

Do you even KNOW what a link is? Because you've never provided one. If you think them swapping teams makes a drastic difference then you don't watch football. That simple. You clearly don't understand how teammates work. 

Points: 0

#141 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 23, 2022 - 8:57am

Well, this is a sports discussion.  You don't have to act like someone disagreeing with your sports take is the equivalent of them insulting your mother.  Getting pissed off at trivialities sounds like a rough way to go through life.  You're letting this dude get under your skin when the rest of us are mostly ignoring him and letting him rant into the void.  Throwing personal insults on an internet message board is, I hate to say it, adolescent behavior.  

But whatever, I don't care that much.  I'm not your father.  You do you.

Points: 0

#142 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 23, 2022 - 1:30pm

And I'm the one taking it that seriously? lol

"adolescent behavior" nah, just stop the corny tone policing. He said stupid things and called them stupid. There's stupid people out there. Just a fact. Stop acting holier than thou. Ill do the same thing for when yall try to tone police other people for calling out racists (also stupid people) while yall "ignore" it.

Points: 0

#143 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 23, 2022 - 5:07pm

So in your view: racist behavior is on the same level as having a wrong sports take?  Wow, man.  Get some perspective. 

Someone being racist is worthy of anger and scorn, and I would never "tone police" someone for calling them out.  There are some things in life worth getting angry about, but someone with a bizarre opinion about Dan Marino's career is not on that list.

Like I said, do whatever you want.

Points: 0

#144 by Bob Smith // Feb 24, 2022 - 4:16pm

Joey-------Allow me to finish one of your sentences from above. You said: "---------but someone with a bizarre opinion about Dan Marino's career is not on that list'.

To be more accurate you could have said: "------------------but someone with a bizarre opinion about Dan Marino's career is not on that list", especially considering he gave us facts and stats to back up that opinion which we chose to not rebutt.

Points: 0

#117 by Dan // Feb 20, 2022 - 5:50pm

This is already pretty heavily weighted to the playoffs.

Each season there are 7 total regular season points available (6 PB spots & 1 AP, assuming no credit for alternates) and 3 playoff points available (SB winner gets 2, loser gets 1). So 70% of pts are regular season, 30% are playoff.

Each year only about 4% of NFL games are playoff games. 13% of Tom Brady's starts are playoff games, which is still a lot less than the 30% of points. Most HOF candidates are somewhere in between.

If I wanted to expand points for the playoffs, maybe I'd give half a point to conference championship losers. Especially if I'm also giving half points to PB alternates or alternative All-Pro awards.

But I kinda like the simplicity of just having the 10 available points each year. If it's going to get all complicated & messy then maybe just go all the way to something like PFR's Hall of Fame Monitor.

Points: 0

#118 by Bob Smith // Feb 20, 2022 - 8:32pm

Dan-------here is a Dan Marino quote: "I'd trade every Record we broke to be Super Bowl Champs". Do you hear what he is trying to tell us fans? He is saying 'those Records that I set in the Reg. Season, you can have all of them, I only wanted to win the Super Bowl'.

If that is how a Record setting QB looks at it, then that should be good enough for us fans also. Marino is telling us that all he wanted was to be successful in the playoffs. You can have his Reg. Season Passing Records if you could give him a S.B. Ring.

And he is not the only QB to ever say such things. How many QB's have exclaimed that they "Reached the Pinnacle of Their Profession" after winning the S.B. ?

My point---it is more than OK to give extra credit to a QB that is successful in the playoffs. At least it is according to Dan Marino.

Points: 0

#122 by Will Allen // Feb 21, 2022 - 11:20am

In reply to by Bob Smith

There is no reason to think Dan Marino is good at talent/performance evaluation. 

Points: 0

#125 by seesau // Feb 22, 2022 - 3:19am

I feel bad for Dan that he even has to be subjected to a Flacco/Marino debate.

Points: 0

#127 by Bob Smith // Feb 22, 2022 - 9:47am

seesau------Then post your facts and stats that prove that Marino was really the more successful QB in the playoffs and that will end this forever. Are you up to the challenge ??

Points: 0

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