(WXYZ) — Matthew Stafford has been in the NFL for 13 years and is finally headed to the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams. They'll take on the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday from Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles.
It's been a long road for Stafford, who was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.
"I'm going to put my nose to the ground and work. That's all you can do and winning cures everything. That's something we have to do when we're up there in Detroit and have some fun doing it," Stafford said right after he was drafted."
Stafford was the Lions starting quarterback into the season, and quickly became the youngest quarterback to throw five touchdowns in a game, despite suffering a separated shoulder. He started 10 games for the Lions in his first season.
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The next season, he injured his shoulder in the first game and came back in October, before injuring his shoulder again, which required surgery. He played in just three games that season.
Stafford would then go on to make 136 consecutive starts. He didn't miss a game until November 2019.
In his time in Detroit, Stafford broke several records in both the NFL and for the Lions.
– Fastest player to reach 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, 30,000 and 40,000 career passing yards - 53 games, 71 games, 90 games, 109 games and 147 games
– One of 5 players with a 5,000-yard passing season in 2011 - 5,038 yards
– Most game-winning drives in a single season - 8 in 2016
Detroit Lions records
– Most career passing yards - 45,109 yards
– Most career pass completions - 3,898 completions
– Most career passing touchdowns - 282 touchdowns
– Most career game-winning drives - 34
– Most consecutive completed passes in a game - 14
In January 2021, it was announced that the Lions and Stafford had mutually agreed to part ways, and the team would begin looking at trade options.
In 12 seasons with the Lions, Stafford completed 3,898 passes for 45,109 yards, 282 touchdowns and had a career quarterback rating of 89.9.
Two months later in March 2021, the team agreed to trade Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff, two future first-round picks and a third-round pick. It was a blockbuster trade of two starting quarterbacks.
2021 was his first season with the Rams, and he started all 17 games for the Rams, leading them to a 12-5 record. He also won his first playoff games, beating the Arizona Cardinals in the wild card, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with seconds to go in the divisional round and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Championship.
He completed 404 passes for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns in his season with the Rams, adding 17 interceptions and QB rating of 102.9.