Matthew Stafford played 12 seasons in Detroit as the Lions’ starting quarterback, but Sunday was his first game back at Ford Field as the opposing quarterback. It was likely an emotional game for the veteran signal caller, given the strong connections he’s built within the organization and the city of Detroit.
However, you wouldn’t get that sense watching him play his best game of the season in the Rams’ 24-23 loss. He was mic’d up for the contest and was as dialed in as ever. He had his teammates fired up in the huddle, throwing darts to his receivers all over the field.
After zipping a throw to the right side, he let Aidan Hutchinson know by yelling “boom!” in his direction, not letting the shot he just took prevent him from completing the pass.
Later in the video, as he was sprinting down the field after his touchdown pass to Puka Nacua, he taunted the crowd by letting them know he couldn’t hear them.
Stafford was the most demonstrative when Kerby Joseph hit Tyler Higbee in the knee. He sprinted to the Lions safety and said he’s “dirty as (expletive),” telling him “it’s been on tape.” Needless to say, Stafford did not appreciate that hit on his tight end.
If there’s one thing to take away from the mic’d-up video, it’s that Stafford took a beating from Lions defenders, absorbing hit after hit in the pocket. He got up every time, even after being dealt a late hit by Hutchinson and then another shot to the head by a second defender.
Stafford didn’t get the win he so badly wanted against his former team, but he played about as well as he possibly could have, throwing for 367 yards with two touchdowns.