Is Matthew Stafford Better than Deshaun Watson?

Read more on the similarities and differences between Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson.

The Lions' Matthew Stafford and the Texans' Deshaun Watson both could be playing for new teams in 2021. 

The 25-year-old Watson wants out of Houston, after failing to have a voice in the team's search for its next GM -- resulting in the hiring of former New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio -- and head coach -- which has yet to include an interview with Watson's preferred candidate in Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. 


Meanwhile, with a new regime coming into the Motor City and perhaps wanting to draft its own franchise passer this April, the soon-to-be 33-year-old Stafford -- turns 33 Feb. 7 -- could be on his way out of town, after 12 years with the organization that drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. 

Watson is one of the very best young quarterbacks in the game today, and due to the significant age difference between him and Stafford, offers a team a considerably bigger window of Super Bowl contention than Stafford does.

Watson is also coming off an MVP-caliber season, in which he completed a career-high 70.2 percent of his passes, to go along with a career-best and NFL-high 4,823 passing yards. 

He also threw a career-best 33 touchdown passes and a career-low seven interceptions, accounting for the 12th-best total QBR in the league (70.5). 

Additionally, through four NFL seasons, the 2017 first-rounder (No. 12 overall) has logged the highest career completion percentage (67.8 percent) in NFL history. 

The talented Texans passer can also beat you with his legs. 

He amassed 444 yards and three touchdowns on 90 carries in 2020, good for a yards-per-carry average of 4.9. 

With his tremendous skill set and high-level ability to play the quarterback position, there's no doubt that Watson could elevate a playoff-caliber team into a legitimate Super Bowl contender. 

While Watson is certainly a better all-around passer than Stafford at this juncture in their respective careers, Detroit's longtime franchise QB is far from a slouch. 

He proved this past season that he has enough left in the tank to take a franchise that's one or two pieces away to the next level. 

Despite battling injury after injury, Stafford played in all 16 games for the first time since 2018, and managed to throw for 4,000-plus yards (4,084) while recording the 15th-highest total QBR in the league (68.6). 

No. 9 also produced some very strong play down the stretch in '20.  

In the Lions' final five games -- with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell leading the way as interim head man in place of Matt Patricia -- he recorded a 91.8 Pro Football Focus grade, the third-best mark among QBs in that span. 

He also provided the Detroit fanbase with some glimpses of "vintage" Stafford. 

He orchestrated three fourth-quarter comebacks -- his most since his historic 2016 campaign when he totaled an NFL-record eight of them -- and four game-winning drives -- his most since also producing four of them in 2017. 

Additionally, since entering the league in '09, he's delivered 31 total fourth-quarter comebacks -- good for seventh all-time along with Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway, according to Pro Football Reference. 

While no one is going to confuse Stafford for Watson any time soon, both of them are easily top-15 QBs, and they each would have certainly garnered more attention this past year if they had suited up for winning squads. 

And, moving into the 2021 campaign, each of them could very well be playing for new teams -- organizations which they could elevate to new heights and ultimately help reach a Super Bowl.

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