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Stafford ranks second among NFL's top deep passers

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is believed to have one of the best arms in the NFL. Now NFL's Next Gen Stats data is lending even more credence to that assertion.

The NFL's passing attacks have become more and more quick-strike and matchup based over the years, but the deep ball is still alive and well.

With the help of the Next Gen Stats data collected via the chips in every player's shoulder pads, the NFL can now identify the best deep passers in the NFL. just released an article that uses a composite score of several passing stats accumulated on deep attempts, and ranked the league's Top 10 deep passers.

Stafford came in at No. 2, right behind former Kansas City Chiefs and current Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith.

The list included only quarterbacks that had at least 200 pass attempts, and graded on:

-- Passer rating on deep throws (20-plus yards)

-- Completion rate on deep throws

-- Percentage of total passing yards accumulated on deep throws

-- Touchdown rate on deep throws (touchdowns per pass attempt)

In those specific categories, Stafford ranked second in passer rating (127.2), third in completion rate (43.8), fourth in percentage of yards (23.7) and fourth in touchdown rate (15.6). His composite score was a 13 (adding up where he ranked in the four categories), which was two better than New York Jets QB Josh McCown (15) and 11 better than Texans' QB Deshaun Watson (24).

Smith has a composite score of just five after ranking first in three of those categories and second in another.

This in a continued series by using their Next Gen Stats. Stafford also ranked second in the breakdown they did of the best quarterbacks throwing into tight-windows.

Stafford and receiver Marvin Jones Jr. have quickly become one of the best deep-ball combinations in the NFL. Jones' ability to high-point a football and his body control along the sideline and in a crowd are big reasons why Stafford is so high on this list. Jones ranked second in deep threats and tight-window receivers in the Next Gen Stats' series focusing on receivers.

With Stafford's arm talent, and a well-rounded group of receivers that also includes Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay, the Lions can attack teams in every level of their passing attack.

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