“This Is It … No More Detroit Lions Excuses … It’s Put Up Or Shut Up” | Matthew Stafford And The QBs Under The Most Pressure

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The wild card round of the NFL playoffs begins this weekend, and teams in the AFC and NFC push toward Super Bowl LVI next month in California. The pressure is going to ratchet up on head coaches and quarterbacks, and according to ESPN’s Ryan Clark, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is under the most pressure to perform.

“This is time for Matthew Stafford to rewrite his entire career … change the perception of who he’s been as a player for over a decade. … It’s put up or shut up.”

 

Stafford was the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft, and was highly touted since he was in high school. At 6 feet 3 and mobile, a big arm, and an ability to excel in any pro-style offense, he was a star at the University of Georgia and an All-American.

He has made the playoffs three times in his NFL career and has yet to win a game. Stafford apologists blame the Lions and their inability to surround him with talent, though he did play with Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

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After being traded to the Rams this past offseason, Stafford is expected to advance this team to at least the conference finals if not the Super Bowl. The Rams gave up their starter Jared Goff, who took them to a Super Bowl, two first-round picks and a third.

As Clark said, it is do or die time for Stafford.

The betting favorites according to Las Vegas are the Green Bay Packers (+350), Kansas City Chiefs (+500), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+750), and Tennessee Titans (+750). The Rams are at +1100.

Here are the other quarterbacks under the most pressure these playoffs.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Being the starting quarterback for “America’s Team” is loaded with pressure, playoffs or not. But with a 12-5 record and talent at the skill positions, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants playoff success.

This team hasn’t been to the NFC title game since the 1995 season. Only the Lions and Washington Football Team have longer droughts.

It’s Super Bowl or bust for Cowboys’ QBs.

Dak has a 1-2 playoff record, and he’s played well. But he’s going to be facing pressure this weekend.

For all of Tony Romo’s success in Dallas as a quarterback, he won two playoff games in a decade. That won’t cut it for Dak Prescott.

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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Garoppolo did lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl a couple years back, but this playoff run might be his last in the Bay Area.

The 49ers traded draft picks to move up and select Trey Lance as their quarterback of the future, meaning Garoppolo’s days were numbered.

“It’s always in the back of your mind,” Garoppolo said Wednesday, via the Associated Press. “It has been in mine really this whole season. I knew what type of season it was, knew everything that was going on behind the scenes and whatnot. So it was a little different. But, at the same time, you’ve got to toe that line because you don’t want to get too emotional in those moments. You’ve just got to go play football when it comes down to it, but, the human side definitely comes into play.”

Garoppolo is playing for his future in many ways this weekend. If he puts together a good performance, win or loss, he is showing that he can still be a productive starter at the position in this league. A poor performance and it could mean backup city.

Just another weekend of football guys. No pressure.

 

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