Could Matthew Stafford Surpass 600 Pass Attempts in 2020?
What will Matthew Stafford do for an encore in year No. 2 of Darrell Bevell running the offense in Motown?
Expectations are high for the Lions' longtime franchise passer after he set the league on fire through eight games in 2019.
He missed the second half of the season with a back ailment. But, from all accounts, he's fully healthy heading into the start of training camp at the end of the month.
That's a good thing for a Detroit team that is expected to have a below league average defense for a second straight season.
According to Pro Football Focus, he was so good a year ago that "only (NFL MVP) Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott averaged more fantasy points per game."
In fact, Stafford, who's entering his 12th NFL season, set career-high marks in TD rate (6.5%), YPA (8.6), yards per completion (13.4) and QBR (73.1) in 2019.
The 32-year-old accomplished all the above while throwing the football 291 times. Subsequently, he was on pace for nearly 600 passing attempts last season.
If he eclipses 600 passing attempts in 2020, it will mark the first time he's done so since tossing the pigskin around 602 times during his lone Pro Bowl campaign in 2014.
His chances of accomplishing the feat look good until you consider the fact that Bevell's aim is to implement a more balanced offensive attack this upcoming season.
And the Lions might have added just the right piece for it to come to fruition in the form of former Georgia running back D'Andre Swift.
Swift, the Lions' second-round selection this past April, provides a solid complementary piece to the team's incumbent No. 1 back Kerryon Johnson.
It should allow Bevell & Co. to have a much more consistent ground presence than a year ago.
And consequently, Stafford shouldn't be forced to air it out as often on a game-to-game basis, leading to a dip in his total number of passing attempts.
It's why I believe he will fall short of 600 passing attempts in 2020.