Lions QB Coach Shares Why Matthew Stafford Excels in Fourth-Quarter

John Maakaron

Matthew Stafford has led the Detroit Lions on go-ahead scoring drives on 35 occasions in the fourth-quarter during his tenure.

On Sunday against Arizona, Stafford was able to lead his team on a 10-play, 70-yard drive that ended the football game.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford© Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

"I feel real comfortable in that situation," Stafford said following Detroit's victory. "That's the situation I want. I hate sitting on the bench and watching another phase try and win the game for us. So, I love it."

Detroit's franchise passer has always wanted to hang his hat on being reliable in the moments his team needs him the most.

"That's what I'm trying to hang my hat on. When the game is on the line, I want the ball, and I know we do on offense. So, it was great to get it done," Stafford said. Just have to be able to do it."

Quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan has seen it before. Stafford helping his team execute late in games in order to take the lead or to extend leads to secure a victory.

The key to executing in those pressure-packed moments is preparation, according to Ryan. 

"First off, it's preparation," Ryan explained to SI All Lions on Tuesday. "He worked so hard throughout the week through film study and just getting to know our opponents. And then taking it from the mental side of it in the classroom out to the field and working on a Thursday afternoon in two-minute. He's played that scenario out and the different things that can happen and what would happen. He's done that throughout the week and obviously throughout his career and he's just ready for those moments."

Ryan added, "He's got that competitor attitude where he wants that ball at the end of the game and wants to have that partly on him to make those plays. And I think all those things combined. But for me, it's the preparation that prepares him for that. He's been through this scenario 100 times in his mind before it actually happens on Sunday afternoon."

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Drew Brees Is Next 'Short' Quarterback for Lions to Take Down

Darrell Bevell Says Adrian Wants Even More Carries

Evaluating Upcoming Lions' Roster Decisions

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Comments (4)
No. 1-4

He does need his tools - but doesn’t every QB. Rogers had a couple of down years without good consistent WR’s. Brady probably lost his chance at another super bowl because he didn’t have enough good WR’s and a TE.

Lack of that along with a porous Oline has hampered Stafford. Backus could never save his QB on 3 rd and long in the 4th quarter - always getting sacked or run out of the pocket. He has a chance to pick up where he left off last year with 3 good WR’s (hasn’t had that since 2011 before Titus lost it and Burleson kept breaking bones) and good TE’s ( also hasn’t had that since 2011).

He is fun to watch when he is “on”, and frustrating to watch when he is “off”


I think it's more about the coaching staff not having time to totally screw the game up while they run uptempo.

Andria m
Andria m

Stafford deserves to be on a team that is all-around better. Don’t think he meets goals in Detroit


Nice article! I think Stafford’s preparation and work should be highlighted more