Matthew Stafford sets Lions passing-yardage record in his fifth season

Sunday November 17th, 2013

Matthew Stafford in on pace to set all sorts of records for the Detroit Lions. Matthew Stafford in on pace to set all sorts of records for the Detroit Lions. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Admittedly, it helps when your current franchise quarterback has led the league in passing attempts twice in his career, and it's also favorable when your franchise has a history of unimpressive quarterbacks.  But what Matthew Stafford did for the Detroit Lions on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers is historically impressive, to be sure.

When Stafford threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson with 10:27 left in the second quarter, he passed Hall of Famer Bobby Layne as the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards. Stafford, in just his fifth season, set the mark with 15,782 yards to Layne's 15,710 from 1950 through '57. And in his 55th NFL game, Stafford also became the fourth-fastest player to reach 100 career touchdown passes, behind only Dan Marino (44 games), Kurt Warner (50 games) and Johnny Unitas (53 games).

Even more interestingly, Stafford and Layne attended the same high school -- Highland Park High in Dallas. And now it's Stafford, who has a cherished record in his fifth season for a franchise that has been around since 1930. “There’s really no bar that he can’t surpass at this point,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of his quarterback this week. “The things he’s been able to do are obviously impressive, but who knows what it’s going to be? You got to have some luck along the way with being able to play for a number of years, but he’s only 25 years old and talking about some numbers that I’m not really aware of what they are and all that stuff, but there’s not too many people that can do what he’s done at this point in his career.”

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