Stafford couldn’t do a thing wrong last year when the Lions were on the way to the playoffs, and he personally was on way to 5,000-yard season with 41 touchdowns.
Fast forward one year. The Lions are 4-9 and now critics are questioning Stafford’s throwing mechanics and asking themselves if he’s still the quarterback everyone thought he’d be a year ago.
“I don't really pay much attention to it,” Stafford said of the criticism. “You win games, everyone wants to talk about how good you are. You lose games, everybody wants to talk about how bad you are.
"I understand that. That's the nature of the beast. That's what we do for a living.”
Some of the criticism thrown Stafford’s way is warranted. He has missed more throws than he did a season ago, he has fewer touchdowns (17), and he has turned the ball over from time-to-time.
“We’ve turned the ball over a little bit more this year than in the past,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said. “But there are a lot of reasons for those.”
Schwartz doesn't worry too much about No. 9, and feels Stafford’s progression heading forward is more in line with refining the skills he already has, not wholesale changes.
“He’s looked the same. He does the same things this year as he did last,” Schwartz said of Stafford.
“We’ve been one play away from flipping our record and if we make those one plays then people say what they will.
"Our job is to go out every week and worry about ourselves, not to worry about what other people say. There’s things we can all do better, including Matt, but we certainly have a lot of confidence that Matt’s going to lead us to a lot of great things.”