Stafford Leads Comeback Win Over Redskins

(DETROIT, MI) – In his 100th game, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford completed 18-of-26 passes for 266 yards and 1 touchdown. He finished with a passer rating of 103.5.

Stafford, who holds the franchise record for starts by a quarterback, now has become the first quarterback in team history with 100 career starts.

With 0:16 left to play, and trailing by four points against Washington, Stafford led the Lions to victory by throwing an 18-yard pass to WR Anquan Boldin. Stafford started this comeback drive with 1:05 left to play.

“Being aggressive, trying to score, Anquan ran a great route,” Stafford said. “Obviously, caught the ball and got in, just a really nice play.”

The touchdown accounted for the 78th of Boldin’s career, but the first with less than 0:30 left in the fourth quarter.

“For us it was a zone, Jim Bob [Cooter] called a good play,”said Boldin. “This was a play that we had been going over for a couple weeks in practice. Haven’t had a chance to run it in a game yet, but Matt just made an awesome throw.”

RB Zach Zenner gave the Lions a 10-3 lead with 7:20 left to play in the third quarter with a one-yard dive into the end zone. The touchdown was Zenner’s first touchdown of his career as he finished with nine carries for 29 yards.

Stafford now has 24 career game-winning drives in the 4th quarter or overtime. He has accomplished this in each of the past three games and during all four Lions wins in 2016.

This three-game stretch marks the second time in Stafford’s career that he has led game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in three-straight games. He is the only Lions quarterback since at least 1960 to lead game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in three-consecutive games, and he has now accomplished this twice.

Since the beginning of the 2014 season, the first year under head coach Jim Caldwell, Stafford has a League-best 12 game-winning drives in the 4th quarter or OT. Dating back to the 2011 seasons, Stafford has 22 game-winning drives, which leads the NFL.

“[Stafford] does not back down from tough situations,” said Caldwell. “He relishes in them, he doesn’t get nervous and he’s got a real clear and focused mind during the time when it’s sometimes a little bit of chaos all around you. But he rises to the occasion time and time again. He’s certainly delivered for us.”

The comeback win over Washington marked Stafford’s 16th career game-winning drive with less than 2:00 in the fourth quarter or in OT. In 100 career games, Stafford has now thrown five game-winning touchdown passes with less than 0:30 to go in the 4th quarter.

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Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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