the second the Rams’ Super Bowl win over the Bengals was final on Sunday, the story about Matthew Stafford’s Hall of Fame candidacy increased and has not slowed down since.
Everyone agrees with their take on Stafford and the Hall of Fame, including former Legion of Boom member Richard Sherman. Sherman weighed to the idea that Stafford is already on his way to the COURT, pointing to his lack of individual honors, and even compared his resume to that of Falcons QB Matt Ryan. It sounds like Sherman isn’t quite ready to work out Stafford’s arrest for Canton yet.
First off, Stafford still has a long way to go in his NFL career. He turned 34 less than a week before the Super Bowl and has shown no signs of slowing down and hanging up his cleats. As it looks, he could play until he’s 40, play another six or seven years before you retire. If he does, he’s guaranteed to get an Hall nod; as he will be the top five in so many passing categories, it will be hard to keep him him out†
Stafford is now just shy of 50,000 passing yards. He will pass that milestone in short order, with his first pass of 2022 as is only five meters shy† In 13 years in the NFL, Stafford has only been passed four times for under 4,000 yards. Two of those seasons were cut short by injury, where he played in just three games in 2010 and eight in 2019. Another season was Stafford’s rookie year 2009, where he played 10 games. So, it’s safe to say if he is healthy, he will throw at least 4,000 meters in the near future. Should he play for several more years, Stafford could finish with about 75,000 passing yards and over 400 TD passes. Currently, only eight guys can say they’ve thrown more than 400 NFL TDs in their careers.
But that’s the future, and none of us know how the next few years will unfold. I understand Sherman’s sentiment on Stafford, though he does have some gaudy statistics from his days in Detroit and now in L.A. It’s hard to rate Stafford for having played for such an inept franchise for so long. Stafford still produced to some extent, even though he played in only three postseason games in 12 years with the Lions. But I won’t hang around for a long time all of that shortcomings of the organization stafford† No, he couldn’t bring the Lions out of obscurity, but not many QBs would have.
Sherman’s argument that Stafford’s accolades are comparable to Ryan’s is a scholarship† Stafford is a one-time pro bowler, while Ryan is a four-time roster. Ryan also has an MVP, Offensive Player of the Year award and All-Pro roster on his resume. Stafford has none of those individual achievements on his own. But the one thing Stafford has that Ryan and the Falcons have let slip is a Super Bowl win. And we all know that when it comes to QB position, that’s what moves the needle† How many rings does a man have? If you have the flashy numbers on a career and can Add Super Bowl Champion to the mix, you stand a good chance in the hall.
I know one person who undoubtedly disagrees with Sherm’s view of Stafford’s HOF dignity. That would be Matt’s wife, Kelly Stafford.
Even if Stafford isn’t a Hall of Famer now, it’s only a matter of time before he crosses that threshold, especially if he can mount another Super Bowl campaign with the Rams. Win a second ring, and there’s no doubt about Stafford’s HOF candidacy. Eli Manning will make the HOF after two Super Bowl runs where he won the MVP both times. That’s pretty much all Manning has on his resume, except that he’s a Manning, of course. Take away the 2007 and 2011 postseason runs for Eli, and he’s just another guy named Manning.
So if I had to decide on Stafford right now, I’d say no, he’s not a Hall of Famer† At least not on the first vote. He needs a little more time, a few more winning campaigns and a few more deep playoffs before I can get there. But Stafford is definitely a lot closer than Sherman gives him credit for.