When you shoot as much game action and put as many microphones on as many players as NFL Films does, you're going to catch lightning in a bottle once in a while. So it was when Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford(notes) had the mic on when he led his team to a 38-37 win over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. Of particular note: Stafford's resolve even when the Lions were down 24-3 in the first quarter; his relationship with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan; his wisecracking with Browns defensive tackle Shaun Rogers(notes), and his absolute determination to get back in the game after tackle C.J. Mosely absolutely crushed Stafford, causing a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder, on the pass play in which Hank Poteat's(notes) interference penalty gave the Lions one extra shot with no time left on the clock.
Stafford was aware enough to know that there was a time-out called by Browns coach Eric Mangini, and that he could go back in the game. From there, it was just about displaying his toughness, telling the trainers to "get the **** off me!"and throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to fellow rookie Brandon Pettigrew(notes) from the one-yard line. Stafford's "I can throw if you need me to throw" moment was special in a Kirk Gibson sense -- the kind of thing that can help a team get back on track after years of dismal results.
But enough of my yakkin' -- here it is. Six minutes of Matthew Stafford.