LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Matthew Stafford addresses questions regarding his accuracy

Posted Oct 22, 2013

Matthew Stafford asks about his accuracy during Tuesday's media session in Allen Park

Quarterback Matthew Stafford spoke to the media Tuesday and the subject of his accuracy quickly became a talking point.

Stafford completed 54.9 percent of his passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's, 27-24, loss to the Bengals.

The fifth-year quarterback missed some throws. Three, in particular. One each to Calvin Johnson, Kris Durham and Ryan Broyles in the same drive late in the second quarter that could have resulted in big plays and potentially changed the complexion of that game.

However, Stafford also hit on some throws. His 43-yard connection with Kevin Ogletree on 3rd-and-20 down the sideline was a perfectly-thrown football. So, too, was the back-shoulder 27-yard touchdown to Calvin Johnson five plays later.

Stafford ranks 11th in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 200 passing attempts, completing 61.4 percent of his throws.

"I don't feel like I (have accuracy issues)," Stafford said. "I feel like I have thrown the ball pretty good. Obviously, I missed a couple. I missed a 70-yarder to CJ (Calvin Johnson) and that's like a long foul ball.

"You're not going to hit those all the time. Obviously every game there are throws you want back and things like that, but I feel like I'm putting the ball in some good spots for guys to make plays."

Stafford's career completion percentage is 60 percent (1,292 for 2,153).

"I just try to play the game naturally," he said. "I don't think about whether the ball needs touch or not. I just go out there and play.

"Obviously I want to make every throw. I want to complete every pass. I want to throw it for as many yards as I can and as many touchdowns as I can to help our team win. I will continue to do that for as long as I'm playing the game. I just keep plugging away and trying to be as good as I possibly can be."

Stafford, who has a 95.3 overall passer rating (6th overall), also has 15 touchdowns on the season, which is tied for the second-most in the NFL to only Peyton Manning's 25.

NOT FEELING SORRY

Injuries dominated the headlines in the NFC North this weekend with a few big-name players suffering major injuries.

The Bears lost quarterback Jay Cutler (torn groin) and linebacker Lance Briggs (fractured shoulder) for the foreseeable future.

Tight end Jermichael Finley suffered a serious neck injury as the Packers were already dealing with significant long-term injuries to linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb) and receiver Randall Cobb (leg).

"Lance Briggs is a close friend of mine and I'm sad to see him out, but at the same time, he is a competitor, and we are within the same division," receiver Nate Burleson said.

"I'm pretty sure they weren't shedding tears when they heard about my pizza debacle or me breaking my leg last year. That's just realistic. When teams in the division are banged up, that's okay."

Burleson made the point that there's a 100 percent injury rate in the NFL and the key is being healthy at the right times, which usually means the end of the year.

"It's a part of the game," he said. "It is an advantage for us. It's not malicious. I don't feel bad saying it. It's realistic. If they are banged up when we play them we're going to take advantage as would they with us."

Burleson was referring to the Lions matchup in Chicago Nov. 10, a game he could be back on the field to help.

Three weeks is a good timeframe to expect Burleson back from that broken forearm he suffered Sept. 24.

In fact, Burleson said he lifted dumbbells for the first time on Tuesday.

MARTIN READY TO REDEEM HIMSELF

Rookie punter Sam Martin wishes the Lions had a game tomorrow. Heck, he'd probably be ready to strap up right now if he could; anything to turn the page on the worst punt of his NFL career that came at the absolute worst time for the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

His 28-yard punt from the Lions 23-yard line with 34 seconds left in the game help set up the Bengals 54-yard game-winning field goal as time expired.

"Obviously, I took it pretty hard," Martin said Tuesday, the first day the players where back to work this week. "It was just a terrible time to hit my worst punt of the year, especially at the rate I've been going this season."

Martin has had a terrific season up to this point. He's currently fourth in the NFL with a net average of 42.9 and his punts have resulted in just 56 return yards by opponents.

"You just have to chalk it up and move on to this week and make sure I don't do this again," he said. "I'm a rookie. It's a part of being a pro. I have to handle it and deal with it and continue to get better and back on track where I'm helping the team."