What Matthew Stafford had to say about the Falcons

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford spoke to the Detroit media on Wednesday.

Here’s what the former University of Georgia standout had to say:

On his take from the from MNF win over the Giants: "I was pleased with some stuff and not so pleased with other things. I think I played well with what we were trying to accomplish. I wish I would've hit some of those shot plays that we took, a couple free plays. Those are fun to get and we just didn't make them pay for it. But I thought (that) got us into the right run plays. Our guys up front did a heck of a job battling against a really tough front, and our guys outside were giving everything they had to win in man coverage and doing a good job of it. So, in the end, 17 offensive points against that defense is good. We'd like to be better. I think we left some out there, can always be better."

On winning without putting up big numbers: "It was great. I think it was a total team effort. We got contributions from every phase, and when you do that, your likelihood of winning is a lot higher. And it doesn't always shape up that way, it doesn't always shake out that way in this league, but it was nice to play a complete team game. We didn't do it all, all the time for four quarters, but we played well enough to get a win on the road is nice."

On winning up front late in game: "Yeah, I think when we were handing the ball off, especially late in the game, man, they're doing a great job. Our guys were running and hitting. Our backs were trusting it and just going. Our guys on the outside blocking some of their (defensive backs), sometimes that makes it go. Ameer (Abdullah) had the long one, not at the end of the game, but I think it was third quarter going the other way. Kenny (Golladay) did a great job coming down and blocking the safety and got Ameer to the corner. He made him miss. So, it takes all 11 guys to run the ball and we did a nice job there late in the game."

On why they took more deep shots last game: "It was game-plan specific that we knew we were going to run the ball a decent amount, and sometimes when you run it, you get some chances. This is a high man-coverage percentage team. We're going to try and take some shots and make some big plays. And then a couple of them, there's a ton of underneath stuff and I chose to throw the deep balls. So, it works both ways. He wasn't just lining up, calling everybody go deep. It's a little bit at my discretion as well."

On the gauze on his arm: "I got a turf burn. Questionable this week. See the injury report. (joking)

On the difference in red zone this year:

“I think when you get down in the red zone windows get smaller, things happen faster. When you can run the ball down there it really helps. But traditionally we had been a really good red zone team and we weren’t ourselves last year, didn’t score as much as we’d like to. Obviously, you turn the ball over there, it’s tough. But just giving our guys chances. Our guys are making some big-time plays, so just going down there, executing, and just trusting the plays and going out there and running them.”

On if his running helps the red zone offense:  "I think it's important. Not that you're calling a play ever to say hey, 'We're going to call this play, it's not going to work. Staff, just roll around and make something happen.' That's not what we do, but sometimes defenses cover guys up, fall into it, and if I can extend the play, give our guys a little bit more time to work on a route, whatever it is, usually that's successful for us. You look around the League, there's a ton of touchdowns that are off-schedule plays, or two guys making plays. Maybe the design concept of the play isn't perfect, but a guy goes up and makes a play, great catch, whatever it is, those help too."

On if he ever has difficulty balancing his pass distribution: "No, I don't think so. We have a bunch of really good guys in the skill position room. Nobody's clamoring, knocking down my door saying, 'Hey, I need the ball this many time' or 'I need the ball that many times.' I think everybody understands that I'm going to do my best to get the ball to the guy whose winning, who's got the best matchup, the right place in zone coverage, whatever it is I'm going to try and get the ball to the right guy. I'm not perfect, but I'm going to do everything I can to do that and I think they know that. They go out there, they run the route hard and just accept where the ball goes, and if it's coming to them, go make a play. And you make a bunch of plays, I'll keep coming back to you. It's just the way it works."

On if he's noticed the defense getting more hands-on balls: "I think they've just worked extremely hard at it, they put a bunch of time and effort into it. You know how valuable the ball is in this league and if your defense can go out there and get it for you, and get more bites at the apples on offense, that's awesome. Just a ton of credit to them, I think they're doing a really good job of effecting the pocket, making it tough on some guys. A couple of those have been errant throws, a couple of them have been great plays by our guys, whatever it is, it's just nice to get the ball back."

On what the value is of having a tight end who can make plays: "Yeah, it's great. I think anytime in this league you can minimize risk and throw a ball that's maybe five or ten yards away from me and have a guy turn it into a bigger play it's a positive. And we got a bunch of guys on our team, not only at the tight end position, but back and receiver that can catch a short route and make it a big one. That's something that's big every week in this league. It goes into every game plan that we have, our guys got to do a good job of….after somebody catches it, turn and block. Pick up blocks for these guys, because a little crease could mean a big gain."

On what his impressions of the Falcons defense are: "Extremely fast, physical, they play hard. It's not an overly complicated scheme, they line up and they play. They do some things that will make you think and make you work no question. They've got really good plays, they've got two high end corners, a really good safety, some linebackers that can fly and a defensive line that's really disruptive, so at every level they've got playmakers and that's what makes a good defense and that's what they are."

On if he senses more pressure to score going into games: "I don't know.. I think you kind of get into the flow of the game and every game plays out differently. Who is it to say that the Giants were going to explode for a bunch of points, I don't know, they got a bunch of talent. Everybody in this league's got talent, so you got to go into the game expecting to play at a high level, every time we touch the ball we want to score, and touchdowns are better than field goals for us, we know that. But that's how we approach it and then you go play the game the kind of the way it's unfolding. And sometimes that unfolds and you got to have a bunch of points to win a game, and sometimes you don't, so we just go out there and play."

About the Author

Editors' Picks