Stafford Vs. Freeman

Matt Stafford has missed 17 games in two years.
Matt Stafford has missed 17 games in two years. /
Matt Stafford has missed 17 games in two years.
Matt Stafford has missed 17 games in two years. /

A lot was made several weeks ago about the match-up between Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford, this week not as much is being made about the game between Stafford and Bucs QB Josh Freeman, probably because Stafford is (as usual) too hurt to play. The three quarterbacks will forever be linked having come from the first round of the same QB class.

As has already been stated by Lions blogger Zac Snyder yesterday, it doesn’t seem like a lot of the national media even includes Freeman in the conversation. Take a look at what Zac had to say about Stafford when compared to Freeman:

"I believe Matthew Stafford is ahead of the curve considering how little he has played. Freeman has been a nice pick but Stafford still has the higher upside long term."

This of course comes after he spent a paragraph comparing Stafford to Sanchez. I think that’s a load of hooey, I’d take Freeman over both of those numskulls. Sanchez is completely overrated, the Dolphins made him look like a rookie last weekend in his own house and he’s started every game he’s played. I’d take Freeman in a heartbeat and don’t tell me about upside. You put Freeman on the Jets and they’re in first in the AFC East. You put Sanchez on the Bucs and they’re 4-9 right now.

Now Stafford is a different story.

I have thought since the time of the draft that Matt Stafford was the type of overrated college hype that loses GM’s their job. He was all-world in college but managed to win absolutely nothing despite being on some loaded Georgia teams. Then he gets to the pros and despite some gritty performances hasn’t been able to stay on the field.

Say all you want about ability and potential. He can make all the throws, great. There’s a reason you have to have more than just those two intangibles. Jamarcus Russell had both and he’s out of the league. Ryan Leaf had both and he couldn’t keep a level head. Matt Stafford can’t stay healthy.

This season his stats are great. He’s got a 6:1 touchdown to interception ratio and a 91.3 QB rating. But he’s also played in just three games and will not be active again on Sunday. All of the potential in the world is meaningless if you’re not on the field. While Stafford has been hurt and Lions fans have rested on the laurels that he’s “ahead of curve.” The ever-durable Josh Freeman has been winning games.

Freeman has piloted a Bucs team that conventional wisdom says should be bad, and taken them into the playoff hunt. Freeman has come back to win games, he’s lead an offense and he gives the Bucs a legitimate chance to win, week in and and week out. Matt Stafford is really good but has already missed 17 games in two years. You decide, who would you rather have?