Lions' Stafford heralds Brady's performance
The Sports Xchange
QB Matthew Stafford
was asked what he
thought of Tom Brady
517-yard performance against the Dolphins Monday
night? "He played good," said Stafford, winning the weekly prize for
understatement. "He does such a good job taking what the defense gives
him and they were giving him a lot of one-on-one coverage and he was
taking advantage of it." OK, but what were you thinking as you were
watching it? Were you envious? Did it give you something to strive for?
Were you a little jealous? "I didn't think about it like that,"
Stafford said. "I just appreciated it. It was a great performance."
Stafford threw for 305 yards and three
scores Sunday, but he was far from satisfied. "I definitely missed some
plays," he said. "The first one that comes to mind is the one where I
got (cornerback Aqib) Talib to jump a short route and had Calvin
(Johnson) in the end zone. We were at the 5 and I threw it about into
the third row of the stands, I was so excited. I am my own worst
critic. I thought I played OK, good enough for us to win. But there was
still a lot left out there."
Stafford , Detroit Lions
(Kevin Hoffman, US Presswire)
One thing that Stafford and Brady have
in common is the pace with which they operate their respective
offenses. Both the Lions and Patriots attack quickly, relentlessly,
lining up without a huddle at various times throughout the game. "We
ran 49 plays in the first half," Stafford said. "I know that's the most
since I've been here. We are getting better at it. It's something you
practice and go out and make it work. We're getting a lot of reps with
that and it is working for us."
Coach Jim Schwartz indicated they might have
overcooked the pace a little bit in the oppressive heat in Tampa, but
the no-huddle isn't going anywhere. "We sort of tired ourselves out,"
he said. "It got to the point where we had to manage our quarterback a
little bit. But that's a big part of our offense and it will be a part
of the game plan every week."
The Lions aren't taking anything for
granted. The Chiefs lost their best defensive back in safety Eric Berry
(torn ACL). But that doesn't mean the Lions will alter their approach
to exploit that. "He's a great player," Stafford said. "I played
against him in college and I've seen the tape of him as a pro. It's a
loss for them. But this is the NFL and everybody can play. The guy that
backs him up is going to be capable of making plays."
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Tom Brady has been drawing comparisons from announcers who see other young QBs doing similar feats as the three-time Super Bowl Champion from New England. In most cases, that comparison is a bit premature. In this case though, they may be onto something.
Announcers say it all the time; "this guy reminds me of Brady." In this case they may be right